Lavoie Gets Life in Prison for 2013 Murder

A Molokai man who killed his girlfriend with a single gunshot in 2013 was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years. Marlin Lavoie, 35, was tried and found guilty of second degree murder in June, and last Thursday, received his sentencing.

On March 20, 2013, Lavoie was looking for his girlfriend of nine years, 24-year-old Malia Kahalewai, at her friend’s apartment in Kawela Barns. The two had separated about a week earlier following domestic violence incidents.

After speaking with Kahalewai, who repeatedly asked him to leave, witnesses said Lavoie went down to his parked car, retrieved a rifle and fired a single shot at her chest. The couple had four children, some of whom were present to witness their mother’s murder.

Later to police and in court, Lavoie expressed remorse for his actions, saying he loved her and did not mean to hurt her.

Lavoie’s defense had asked jurors to charge him with manslaughter, which carries a lesser sentence, claiming Lavoie was mentally unstable and suffering mental illness at the time he pulled the trigger.

The jury did not agree, but Lavoie’s second degree murder conviction does allow for the possibility of parole.

Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza said at the sentencing Thursday that Lavoie will have to live with the reality of his actions for the rest of his life, according to The Maui News.

Cardoza said Lavoie’s statement read, “I am very sorry for what I did. I loved my woman very much.”

“That’s how you refer to Malia — your woman,” Cardoza told Lavoie, as quoted in The Maui News. “You don’t own her. And the way it appears you were treating her, it’s not surprising she left you on several occasions.”

Lavoie was arrested on several occasions on domestic violence charges involving Kahalewai, and his criminal record includes a history of violence, burglary and assault, and had previously served a one-year jail sentence, according to court records.

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