Molokai woman found dead sought TRO against her alleged attacker

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24 Nov. A 43-year-old woman found lifeless in Mariano Garces’ Molokai home had petitioned for a temporary restraining order against him earlier this year.

A 43-year-old woman found lifeless at Mariano Garces’ home in Molokai had petitioned for a temporary restraining order against him earlier this year, alleging Garces had abused her for months, court documents show.

Garces, also known as Mariano Tamayo Garces Jr., made his first appearance at Wailuku District Court Wednesday via video conference from the courthouse cell block after prosecutors charged him with second-degree murder in the death of Amie Kaholoaa.

At the hearing, Deputy Public Defender Andres Tobar requested a reduction in Garces’ $1 million bail, noting that the amount is too high. “I don’t believe he poses a flight risk,” Tobar said.

Judge Christopher Dunn maintained the bail amount at $1 million. Garces’ preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday.

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Maui police said Molokai dispatchers received a 911 call Saturday afternoon from a man about a possible homicide at his residence in Kaunakakai. When officers arrived, they discovered Kaholoaa’s lifeless body inside the house.

Police searched the area in vain for the man.

Police said the man, identified as Garces, returned to his residence the next morning where officers arrested him on suspicion of murder.

Court records show that on Feb. 1, Kaholoaa petitioned for a temporary restraining order against Garces, alleging that Garces strangled her, punched her in the face, and beat her with a stick on Jan. 31. “I have bruises on my body from this incident,” she said in the petition. “I am afraid of him and feel that one day he will kill me.”

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The February petition indicated that Garces and Kaholoaa had an intimate relationship for six months. She claimed that Garces had been abusing her for the past three months and that the abuse “has not stopped.”

She added that Garces could own, possess or have access to hunting weapons and that he feared he would use the firearm to threaten, injure or abuse her.

In the petition, Kaholoaa claimed that Garces “has a long history of drugs and anger issues” and requested that Garces seek help through anger management classes and a drug court.

Nearly two weeks after the filing, the court terminated the petition after Kaholoaa failed to appear at a scheduled hearing to hear the petition.

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In a separate case, Garces was charged in June on several counts of unlawful possession or possession of a firearm and ammunition and one count of unlawful possession of a weapon or device.

The indictment document alleged that he unlawfully owned or possessed a Remington .30-06 caliber rifle and .30-06 ammunition, Remington Arms .270 caliber rifle, and a Browning 12-gauge shotgun and 12-gauge shotgun shells. He also alleged unlawful possession of a shotgun with a barrel length of less than 18 inches.

Garces has a criminal record with multiple convictions for firearms and drug-related crimes.

In 2007, he was convicted in a case that included five felonies for keeping unloaded firearms other than pistols and revolvers, unlawful possession or possession of firearms or ammunition, promoting dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia.

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