Tuesday, January 8, 2002

Cathalene Pacheco, above, and her husband had five children, four of whom are still minors. A fund is being established to help support the children. To make a donation, call Clark Realty in Kona, where Cathalene worked, at 808-329-5255.

Kona detective held
in his wife’s murder
after suicide attempt

The judge denies bail
on grounds the officer
may endanger himself

By Rod Thompson

HILO >> A Kona police detective, suspected of killing his wife on Friday, tried to commit suicide in jail on Saturday, according to a prosecutor.

The suicide attempt led District Judge Jeffrey Choi to order yesterday that Detective Albert Pacheco continue to be held without bail.

Deputy Prosecutor Michael Udovic told Choi that Pacheco, 45, was treated for the Saturday suicide attempt at Hilo Hospital and was placed on "antipsychotic medicine."

Udovic said he had no further details, and police declined to comment.

Pacheco pleaded not guilty yesterday to second-degree murder, first-degree criminal property damage and first-degree terroristic threatening.

A preliminary hearing and a bail hearing for him are set for 1 p.m. tomorrow at the South Kohala District Court.

Pacheco allegedly drove his police car into a van driven by his wife Cathalene, blocked her exit and then shot her multiple times in the head.

"In his mind he thinks there is someone else involved (with his wife), which may be the motive involved," Udovic told Choi.

Outside the court, Udovic said he does not know if she was involved with anyone else.

Another judge had ordered no bail for Pacheco over the weekend, and Udovic asked that status to be maintained, saying Pacheco was charged with a cruel, vicious crime.

Choi said that would not be enough to deny bail, since there was no evidence Pacheco was a threat to anyone besides his wife.

The judge changed his mind when he learned Pacheco may continue to be a threat to himself following the suicide attempt.

Deputy Public Defender Martin Bento unsuccessfully argued for bail, saying: "He told me he was initially in shock. That's why he was on a suicide watch."

Pacheco has apparently overcome that shock and is starting to accept his circumstances, Bento said.

Udovic also said police are investigating threats to his wife by Pacheco some years ago.

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