Suspect in Kalihi stabbing, apartment fire pleads not guilty

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The suspect allegedly behind an attack that sent a Kalihi woman to the hospital with stab wounds to her neck has pleaded not guilty.

Mavourneen Rombawa, 36, was indicted by a grand jury for attempted murder in the second degree, arson in the first degree and kidnapping.

She remains in custody, unable to post $150,000 bail, and her trial is set for August.

Police arrested Rombawa after she allegedly attacked Danita Mendez, 57, inside her apartment and tried to set it on fire last Wednesday, May 20, at Kam IV Apartments.

Mendez was hospitalized with stab wounds to the neck, her face covered with cuts and bruises.

According to Mendez’s daughter, Natasha Saloricman, Mendez had just done the laundry and went back up to her apartment.

Saloricman told KHON2 Mendez didn’t know Rombawa, but let her in because she had asked to use the bathroom.

Meanwhile court documents reveal more of what allegedly happened that night.

Police said Mendez and Rombawa were arguing when Rombawa grabbed a hunting knife and stabbed Mendez multiple times in the head and neck.

Rombawa then started a fire inside the unit, causing approximately $800 in damage, and fled toward Pio Place, according to court documents.

A witness heard a female call for help and, when he tried to detain Rombawa in the parking lot, police said she swung the knife in his direction and continued to flee into a nearby residence, where she tried to hide inside a closet and was eventually found by police.

Court documents said Rombawa had blood stains on her arms and pants and uttered “I broke and cut all the equipment and wiring in the apartment because there were surveillance cameras, speakers and microphones” and “decided to stab her, and that she burn the place up because of all the wiring and bed bugs that had gotten all over her stuff on her and in her hair.”

Two days after the attack, Mendez was served an eviction notice, which refers to a clause in the rental agreement that if she or any guests cause damage to the property, the landlord can terminate the rental agreement.

She continues to recover in the hospital.

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