Tuesday, December 21, 1999

Prosecutors want
drifter held without
bail in ranger’s death

By Debra Barayuga


Federal prosecutors will ask that a drifter who admitted to fatally shooting Big Island park ranger Steve Makuakane-Jarrell, but claims he did so in self-defense, be held without bail.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Butrick said yesterday the request is based on a pretrial services report which strongly recommends that Eugene Frederick Boyce III be detained because he is a flight risk and a danger to the community.

Boyce, 31, a transient from California who lived in the woods of the Big Island, is charged with murdering a federal official engaged in official duties. Makuakane-Jarrell was investigating a vicious dog complaint at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park when he was shot.

Boyce is wanted in four states and has two felony convictions of resisting law enforcement officers, said Butrick, who could not disclose further details from the confidential report.

The government is expected to call FBI Special Agent Lisa Nielsen to testify at a hearing today and allow Boyce's attorney, federal public defender Peter Wolff, an opportunity to question statements in an affidavit filed in federal court last week.

In the document, Nielsen said Boyce admitted to struggling with Makuakane-Jarrell on Dec. 12 over the ranger's 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, resulting in the ranger "shooting himself."

FBI agents, though, say the evidence so far indicates otherwise.

According to the affidavit, Makuakane-Jarrell fell to the ground and Boyce shot the 15-year park veteran until he went limp.

Boyce is quoted as saying he hid the ranger's body in nearby bushes and buried the gun.

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