Suspect in South Hilo Thanksgiving murder appears in court

Kalani Lono Kaohimaunu

The suspect in a murder that occurred on Thanksgiving in South Hilo appeared in court Monday.

Kalani Lono Kaohimaunu, 34, was charged with second-degree murder and several firearms offenses: use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, ownership of a firearm prohibited and place to keep a firearm.

Police say just before 10:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving, officers found an unresponsive man with apparent gunshot wounds outside of a home on the 100 block of West Kawailani Street.

Witnesses reported hearing gunshots at the residence and told police that a car fled the scene.

Keola Penovaroff, 39, was taken to Hilo Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy confirmed he died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Kaohimaunu was arrested without incident Saturday morning in Kalapana. His bail was set at $1 million.

Charity Kumia, 52, of Keaau, was arrested with Kaohimaunu on unrelated charges. Detectives recovered a dark blue Honda sedan and arrested her on suspicion of altering a motor vehicle serial number and fraudulent use of license plates.

She was released from police custody Monday pending further investigation.

Police continue to ask that anyone who may have witnessed the shooting call Detective Todd Pataray at 961-2382 or email him at

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call the island wide Crime Stoppers number at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

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