Kahului man, 25, charged with murder in mother’s death

Keoni Vinuya Tomas

A Kahului man has been charged with second-degree murder after his mother was found dead early Monday morning — a little more than two months after Keoni Tomas was arrested for murder in connection with a previous case.

At about 4:35 a.m., patrol officers responded to a home on Makalii Street for an alleged abuse case. A caller reported hearing a female screaming from the property.

According to authorities, officers found the lifeless body of 43-year-old Kimberly Vinuya laying on the floor of a one-bedroom shack on the property with apparent stab wounds.

While searching the area, officers found Tomas in the back portion of the main dwelling and arrested him for murder. Bail was set at $1 million.

The Kahului man was previously arrested for murder on January 2, in connection with the death of 61-year-old Gail Otsuka. Tomas was arrested for second-degree murder after detectives noticed cuts on his hands. He had been brought to the police station for questioning at the time.

Police said he was released pending further investigation after conferring with the prosecutor’s office.

Sen. Will Espero, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs, said Tuesday night that “they may know something, or have information, that we are not aware of and that might have given them maybe a hint that he wasn’t involved in the first murder case. However, at this time, the info is sketchy, (but) we need to know why an alleged murderer was released from jail. If authorities felt as if he was a suspect and they did arrest him one would think that individual should still be behind bars or at least have a very high bail set.”

Espero believes the public deserves answers. He also believes that the handling of cases like this need to be looked into.

“There are many questions that have to be asked because of this recent murder and the authorities are going to have to answer them,” said Espero.

Evidence recovered from the Otsuka murder scene was sent to Oahu for DNA analysis, the results of which are still pending. The investigation into this case is still ongoing, police said.

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