Police charge farmer
for alleged thief’s death

A Kahuku farmer who allegedly shot a man he suspected of stealing his produce and then left the victim to bleed to death was charged yesterday with second-degree murder.

Khamxath Baccam, 48, is being held in lieu of $25,000 bail. If convicted, he faces life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Marcelino Pacheco Jr., 38, was found dead Tuesday morning by Baccam's wife along a private road at the end of Malaekahana Road. At the time, the suspect's wife did not know her husband was involved in the case.

Police said Pacheco had gunshot wounds to the center of his back and his left leg. He bled to death after being hit in a major artery in his leg, police said.

The shooting happened Monday night, when Baccam was at work on his Malaekahana Valley farm. Court documents filed yesterday show that Baccam told Wahiawa police on Tuesday that he "shot and killed someone on his farm last night and that he felt bothered by it all night long."

Sources have said that Baccam also told police he got into a confrontation with Pacheco and fired his shotgun because he was scared.

Deputy city prosecutor Lynne Goto Uyema said self-defense was not included as a factor in Baccam's charges.

"You can only use self-defense -- deadly forms of self-defense -- if deadly force is used against you," Uyema said yesterday in a news conference at the prosecutor's office.

"We all work hard for our property, and you should be able to defend it. However, the question becomes, Do you get to use deadly force to defend your mango tree? And the answer is no. ... Taking a gun and shooting someone for stealing property from you without any type of provocation is not warranted by the statute."

Baccam told police he threw away the shotgun he allegedly used in the fatal shooting, according to court documents. Uyema said the shotgun has not been found.

Sources have told the Star-Bulletin that Pacheco was an alleged thief who was suspected of stealing produce and farm equipment from the area.

He had 24 prior arrests and three convictions for petty misdemeanors, police said. Court documents said an officer who responded to Baccam's farm Tuesday recognized Pacheco from "previous police contacts" with him. Baccam has no criminal record, police said.



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