Happened To...

An update on past news

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Suspects in death of
Maui resident await trial

Question: What ever happened to the defendants charged in the murder of former Maui resident Io Nachtwey, who was killed in November 2001 while living with her homeless boyfriend near Harvard Square in Massachusetts?

Answer: All six defendants are now charged with murder and kidnapping, and one of them, Luis Vasquez, is also facing a charge of aggravated rape, Suffolk County District Attorney spokesman David Procopio said.

Procopio said the defendants, who have a Sept. 25 hearing in Suffolk Superior Court, are seeking to have separate trials and to throw out certain evidence.

"We are opposing both motions ... and we hope to try the six defendants in October," Procopio said.

Procopio said in Massachusetts, three years is not an extraordinary length of time to wait for a murder trial, especially one that involves multiple defendants.

"Prosecutors and police have been diligently preparing and moving this case toward trial," he said. "We look forward to speaking for Ms. Nachtwey before a court of law."

Nachtwey, 22, was killed to intimidate and retaliate against her friends who had been recruited by a gang but decided not to fulfill their mission to steal money and valuables, prosecutors allege.

She was stabbed 12 to 15 times, and her body, rolled off a railroad bridge, was found in the Charles River on Nov. 4, 2001.

Nachtwey, who attended Maui Community College but never graduated, moved to the East Coast and lived as a homeless person, sleeping in a cemetery, with her boyfriend.

She panhandled and would often say to passersby, "Spare change or a smile?"

A King Kekaulike High School teacher said she was not surprised that Nachtwey, who was not afraid to speak her mind, resisted attempts to get her to become a criminal.

This update was written by Gary T. Kubota.

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