MAUI (MAUINOW) — It’s been nearly six years since Moreira “Mo” Monsalve went missing on Maui.
Thursday, December 5, would have marked the beginning in a new chapter in the case but the trial, which was set to start Thursday, was moved to March.
“Based upon my calculation, I’m going to set this for trial on March 16th,” said Judge Peter Cahill.
Murder defendant Bernard Brown, the man accused of killing Monsalve is requesting a speedy trial. But his attorney, Keith Shigetomi of Honolulu, asked for a continuance today to allow him adequate time to prepare. Shigetomi was assigned to the case in October after the public defender’s office withdrew.
Judge Peter Cahill provided some insight from the bench noting that cases like these often take time and could result in further continuances.
“If he’s not ready, what usually happens in these cases is, is he will not be ready to proceed,” said Cahill. “No one can force you to waive your rights and I would not ask you to do that.”
Alexis Felicilda, Monsalve’s daughter said she’ll have to endure the wait as well, to seek justice for her mom.
“You know, it’s hard to say what he’s thinking just by looking at him, but I know he doesn’t want to be in jail,” she said. “So it’s a long, drawn out process, which is most criminal court cases…so it will probably be another couple of years.”
Monsalve was 46-years-old when she went missing in January of 2014. She was last seen at Brown’s residence in Wailuku.
Brown was her ex-boyfriend at the time. He pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder of Monsalve back in October following a grand jury indictment. Police had said the advancement of technology and the diligent work of detectives, prosecutors and the FBI were key, and that cell phone evidence played a huge part in this case, especially since Monsalve’s body was never found.
Attorneys will meet for a pre-trial conference in January and have set the new trial date for March 16th.