ROD THOMPSON / RTHOMPSON@STARBULLETIN.COM
Family and friends built this roadside memorial to Daysha Aiona Aka in the Panaewa forest area south of Hilo, near where her body was found. Aiona Aka's ex-boyfriend, Jeffrey B. Santos Jr., has confessed to the killing, according to court documents.
Man says toddler witnessed fatal shot
He admits to killing and incinerating the boy's mother
HILO » Big Island murder suspect Jeffrey B. Santos Jr. told police he shot his ex-girlfriend Daysha Aiona Aka in the head with a .22-caliber revolver in the presence of the couple's 2-year-old son, according to court documents.
Aiona Aka funeral set for Saturday
Daysha "Day" Iwalani Aiona Aka, 21, of Hilo, a Safeway Food and Drug liquor department manager, will be remembered in services at 5 p.m. Saturday at Dodo Mortuary.
She died in Hilo Medical Center on Thursday of a gunshot wound to the head.
She was born in Hilo. She is survived by son Day Rey Santos; mother Donna A. Weber; father Stoney A.; hanai father Michael P. Dias; brothers Waylen Leopoldino, Jeffrey Akimseu and Cody A. Aka; sisters Cassie Leopoldino, and Ashton A. and Breeanna A. Aka; grandparents Thomas and Beverlyn Akimseu; and great-great-grandparent Agnes "Tutu" Mendoza.
Call at the mortuary after 3 p.m. Casual attire. No flowers.
March against violence planned
The Hawaii State Coalition Against Domestic Violence will lead a silent march in Honolulu tomorrow commemorating Aiona Aka's death.
Aiona Aka is the sixth woman in Hawaii to die this year from domestic violence, according to the coalition's news release.
In court documents, Aiona Aka described an Aug. 18 beating, in which she was grabbed by the hair, dragged, and kicked in the head and back.
The public is invited to joint the march, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in front of Honolulu Hale.
Parking is available at Alapai Street Parking Garage after 4:30 p.m.
Santos, 23, also told police that he then burned the car in which her body lay.
Wearing the same baggy, red "Billabong" T-shirt yesterday that he wore for his police mug shot last week, the small, skinny Santos arrived in Hilo District Court for an initial appearance.
He did not enter a plea. At the request of Deputy Prosecutor Darien Nagata, Judge Barbara Takase temporarily raised his bail to $500,000 from $100,000.
A preliminary hearing, in which the prosecution will outline the case against Santos, was set for tomorrow. A hearing will also be held on whether to make the increase in bail permanent.
Court documents in the murder case gave added details to documents previously available from a domestic abuse case.
According to the documents prepared by police, Santos was with his son, Day Rey Santos, from 10:30 p.m. Halloween evening to 4 p.m. the next day. That was a violation of a restraining order in effect at the time, which ordered Santos to stay away from both Aiona Aka and the child.
An earlier document said Aiona Aka went to see Santos at about 1:30 p.m. the day after Halloween. That was the same afternoon on which the killing took place in the Panaewa forest area south of Hilo, police said.
A friend of Santos later gave a .22-caliber revolver to police, telling them Santos gave it to him on that day after Halloween.
Since the shooting, police have cordoned off an unpaved side road leading into the forest from Stainback Highway. Family members have also erected a roadside memorial with flowers at a different side road about a mile away.
Family members declined yesterday to talk about the case.
At some point, Santos was arrested for violating the restraining order. Following that arrest, he led police to the site of the burned car, a 2003 Mazda Protege belonging to Aiona Aka. Santos was then arrested Thursday for murder.
On Friday, he was charged with murder, use of a firearm in a felony, prohibited possession of a firearm, violating a protective order and arson. An additional charge of having a firearm in an improper place was added yesterday, Nagata said.
As proceedings began yesterday in the courtroom packed with relatives and friends, several people started crying. When the brief proceedings ended and Santos was led out of the court, the same people called out to him, "Love you, Brah; stay strong, Brah."