HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii County Prosecutors are calling the death of Makalapuanani Beverly Mauga in Hawaiian Beaches Thursday a heinous murder. The victim’s family said she was a loving sister, daughter and mother who didn’t deserve what happened.
Her accused killer, Michael Carvalho, remains in custody.
It’s cases like this along with a recent Hawaii Supreme Court ruling that has officials on edge.
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“There’s a possibility that, because of that decision this guy may be walking free,” said Mitch Roth, Hawaii County Mayor. “So we have some really great concerns that the decisions made could have this guy out on the street and put everybody in danger.”
The Hawaii Supreme Court ruled preliminary hearings are no longer valid for suspects charged with class A felonies. They must be indicted by a grand jury.
Hawaii Island prosecutors said there are about 220 cases that may be impacted. On Oahu, prosecutors had to indict Kendall Ramsey last week for killing his girlfriend and infant son in 2020.
“The result is we have 168 felony cases already charged in the system that currently are invalidated and what we have to do is rush to go to grand jury to take care of these matters so no one is released,” said Thomas Brady, First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney.
The four-county prosecutors are making a plea with the legislature to go back in for a special session to change the Supreme Court ruling before it’s too late.
The Senate said it’s in talk with its members, House colleagues and the Judiciary to assess appropriate next steps. However, Mayor Roth said time is of the essence.
“Some of us only meet a couple of times a month and so for Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii Island it is super important that they have this special session or the Supreme Court rethinks its decision,” said Roth.
The Judiciary is adding more grand jury sessions across the state. Oahu will add a fourth grand jury session each week starting Sept. 26, Hawaii Island will have four instead of three, Maui County will also have four, and Kauai will have two.
“I don’t want to see anyone that’s violent be released, because of this new case law that came out,” Brady said.
The legislature needs two-thirds approval in the House and Senate to call a special session.