HONOLULU (KHON2) — Heartbreak for the family of a Maui woman whose death has been described as particularly heinous. The mother of Angela Johnson is in disbelief as she tries to make sense of it, and is seeking justice.

Brian Sherrell has been charged with the murder of Johnson.

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A Maui prosecutor told a judge that Sherrell electrocuted Johnson several times in the chest when she was already injured, in some misguided attempt to treat her.

The prosecutor said Johnson was already dead when Sherrell brought her to the hospital.

Johnson’s mother, who lives in North Carolina, was floored when police told her what happened.

They told me that she had been beat up — severely bruised up all over her body and her eyes were black. She really didn’t deserve any kind of treatment like that. She was just a little petite thing, not even 100 pounds.”

Brenda McLeod, Angela Johnson’s Mother

McLeod is on her way to Hawaii. She said the last time she heard from her daughter was through a text message two weeks ago.

“Saying ‘I love you,’ and she did it again in May,” said McLeod. “She’s always talking about, I love you mommy, no matter how old she is, 42, I’m still her mommy.”

The prosecutor called the murder particularly heinous and told the judge that if Sherrell is convicted, the state will be asking for an enhanced sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

McLeod said her daughter never gave any indication that she was in any trouble. And if there was, she always told her daughter that she’s welcome to return to North Carolina.

“She fell in love with Hawaii over 20 years ago. She’s been there since she was about 20 years old and she made it her home,” said McLeod. “And we could never convince her or talk her to come back to North Carolina, she couldn’t leave that place.”

McLeod said as small as her daughter was, Johnson had a big heart and was always kind to everyone.

“She would do anything in the world that she could do to help somebody. She always had a smile, always had a laugh, always tried to cheer people up when they were down,” said McLeod.

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Sherrell remains in custody. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday, June 27.