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Brown’s trial scheduled for April 12

He has pleaded not guilty to murder charge connected with disappearance of ‘Mo’ Monsalve

Bernard Brown appears for his arraignment Wednesday afternoon in 2nd Circuit Court. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in connection with the disappearance of his former girlfriend Moreira “Mo” Monsalve nearly seven years ago. The Maui News / LILA FUJIMOTO photo

The Maui News

WAILUKU — An April 12 trial is set in 2nd Circuit Court for a man reindicted on a second-degree murder charge in connection with the disappearance of his former girlfriend Moreira “Mo” Monsalve nearly seven years ago.

During his arraignment Wednesday, Bernard Brown pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Brown, 49, is the last person known to have seen Monsalve, who was at his apartment at Iao Parkside in Wailuku the night of Jan. 12, 2014, a police investigation showed.

Family members, friends and co-workers described a “volatile relationship” between Brown and Monsalve, who had moved out of his apartment less than two weeks before she disappeared.

Moreira ‘Mo’ Monsalve

Some of her belongings, including her purse and broken cellphone, were found in a trash bin near Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku on Jan. 16, 2014. Police said evidence from the cellphone, which was sent to the FBI, helped lead to the indictment against Brown.

He was first indicted in the case in September 2019 after he had moved to Sacramento, Calif., where he was arrested before being extradited back to Maui.

After the indictment was dismissed without prejudice Dec. 3, a different Maui County grand jury returned the new indictment Friday against Brown. Second Circuit Judge Peter Cahill had set a two-month time limit for the prosecution to recharge Brown.

He continues to be held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center.

Cahill said he expected acting Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rivera and defense attorney Keith Shigetomi to be ready to proceed to trial April 12.

The judge ordered Brown to have no contact with members of Monsalve’s family.

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