Ex-boyfriend held in gunshot death
A Big Isle man faces a murder charge after a woman's body is found in a burned car
HILO » Big Island police charged Jeffrey B. Santos Jr. with second-degree murder and four other charges yesterday in the homicide of a woman believed to be Santos' ex-girlfriend.
Police have not released the victim's name because they were not able to confirm her identity, but friends have identified the woman as Daysha Aiona Aka.
An autopsy showed the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head, said Lt. Randall Medeiros. But the car in which the victim was found was burned after the shooting, and the body was not immediately identifiable, he said. Dental records will be used to confirm the identity.
Santos also was charged with use of a firearm in a felony; possession of a firearm, which was prohibited since he was under a restraining order at the time; violation of a protective order; and second-degree arson.
Bail was set at $100,000. Santos remained in custody and will make his initial court appearance Monday.
Court records show a history of violence by Santos, 23, against Aiona Aka, 21. She was subjected to "many incidents" of physical abuse during the six years she was in a relationship with him, according to her request in September for a restraining order against him.
The court granted an order keeping him away from her until Dec. 26.
But on Tuesday, Aiona Aka went to visit Santos in Kapoho, south of Hilo, according to a court document. That was the same day that she was found dead in the Panaewa rain forest near Hilo, about 25 miles from Kapoho.
In requesting the restraining order, Aiona Aka described a beating on Aug. 18.
"He grabbed me by my hair and dragged me around the parlor, kicking me in my head and back," she said. "I fought back and tried to defend myself, but he kept coming back at me. He pinned me up against the wall and choked my neck."
Santos threw objects at her, put his hand over her face, and shoved her into a couch and then into the ground, she said. "He continuously kept punching me on my head, leaving a lump for weeks," she said.
In 2002, Aiona Aka's grandmother obtained a restraining order against Santos to protect her granddaughter, who at 17 was a minor at the time, documents say.
"We have been in an intimate relationship for six years and are no longer together. We share one minor child," Aiona Aka said in September. They lived together two of those years, she said.
The couple's son is now 2 years old, the documents say.
Aiona Aka said she no longer lived with Santos after August.
Some references indicate Santos was jealous of another man. A document noted that Aiona Aka said Santos was afraid that her boyfriend would "come back from the Army and would kill him." But Aiona Aka said Santos was "making things up."
She also said Santos threatened that "he was going to 'bash' my head and the haole boy's head together."
The documents also asked if Santos had a gun. She said he had a handgun, but his mother took it.
"Ending of July, he mentioned that he wants to kill and shoot my whole family," Aiona Aka said.
Besides the restraining order against him, Santos was charged with contempt of court in 2003 for failing to complete a court-ordered "Alternatives to Violence" program. He paid a $50 fine.
He is also awaiting trial on a charge of abusing a household member for an incident on Aug. 11.