July 1 trial set for man in connection with shooting

WAILUKU – A July 1 trial is set in 2nd Circuit Court for a Molokai man charged with murder in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend last month.

During his arraignment Monday, Marlin Lavoie, 33, of Honouliwai pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, using a firearm in the commission of a felony, being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition, keeping a loaded firearm in an improper place, abuse and third-degree assault.

The shooting occurred the night of March 20 while 24-year-old Malia Kahalewai was at a friend’s apartment at the Kawela Barns complex on Molokai. She had repeatedly told Lavoie to leave because she didn’t want to talk to him before he went to his car, retrieved a rifle and shot Kahalewai as she sat on a porch outside the apartment, witnesses told police.

Kahalewai died of a single gunshot wound to her chest, police said.

Lavoie, who drove away after the shooting, was arrested the next morning when he surrendered to police near his residence. Police recovered the Remington bolt-action 30-06 rifle used to shoot Kahalewai.

Kahalewai and Lavoie had been in a relationship for nine years and had four children, police said.

As a felon with convictions for first-degree burglary and second-degree robbery, Lavoie was prohibited from owning or possessing firearms, according to court records.

A bail hearing for Lavoie was scheduled for May 9. His attorney, Chris Dunn, asked for the later hearing date so it wouldn’t interfere with state Department of Public Safety plans to move Lavoie to an Oahu facility while his case is pending.

Lavoie is being held on no bail on the murder charge and bail totaling $140,000 for the three firearms charges.

On Monday, 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen set bail at $5,000 each for the charges of abuse and third-degree assault. Those charges stem from Lavoie’s arrest March 16, four days before Kahalewai was shot, when Lavoie found her in her car with a female friend in a church parking lot at Kalamaula. Lavoie reportedly tried to take the key from the ignition of the car, elbowed Kahalewai in the head and punched her friend who was in the passenger seat, police said.