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Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Pair plead
innocent in
Maui killing

The Maui man and woman
are accused of slaying
Edward Bird

Gary Kubota

WAILUKU -- A man and his girlfriend pleaded not guilty today in Maui Circuit Court to the killing of retired 82-year-old Navy physician Edward W. Bird at his residence in south Maui in December.

Michael Pavich and Lisa H. Avilla, both 30, are scheduled to stand trial April 9.

They were indicted Friday by a Maui grand jury.

The two are charged with second-degree murder, first-degree burglary, and kidnapping in Bird's death. They also face drug charges in separate incidents.

Both are scheduled to have a hearing on Thursday to determine whether the $230,000 bail for each should be reduced.

Avilla was arrested on Jan. 10 at her Walaka Street apartment, within walking distance of Bird's home.

Pavich, also known as Arlo, was already at Maui Community Correctional Center on unrelated theft and forgery charges.

Bird's body was found in a bedroom in his ground-floor unit at the Pacific Shores condominium on Dec. 3.

According to a police affidavit filed in Wailuku District Court, his head had several lacerations.

Bird, 82, rode a motorized three-wheeler on trips to the store.

His apartment was a gathering place for children who came to watch television and eat cookies.

Avilla's roommate, Lucille T. Abraham, also known as Tania, told police she was reading a news story about Bird's death when Avilla broke down and cried, according to the affidavit.

"She told me she killed him," Abraham said. "Her and Arlo killed that man."

Abraham said a couple of days later, Pavich told her and two other people that if anyone said anything, "he's going to kill 'em."

Abraham said people living in the apartment were using crystal methamphetamines.

Abraham said she had just moved into Avilla's home in early December.

"I was just somebody that she needed to confide in, I guess, and that's how I got involved," Abraham said.

"Just by hearing about it. That's it," she said.

In an interview with police in December, Avilla denied killing Bird but she implicated Pavich, who had been staying with her in the apartment.

Maui Police Lt. Glenn Cuomo said no further arrests are anticipated in the case.

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