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Suspect in Eden Roc homicide indicted

A 30-year-old former Army sergeant accused of stabbing a 71-year-old Eden Roc subdivision man to death Jan. 7 with a piece of the victim’s broken cane has been indicted by a Hilo grand jury.

The four-count indictment charges Malcolm Keith Utecht with second-degree murder for the slaying of Solomon Matthews, first-degree burglary for unlawfully entering Matthews’ Palainui Avenue home, plus indecent exposure and fourth-degree sexual assault for exposing himself to those in the home, including minors.

A conviction on the second-degree murder charge carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment with the possibility of parole. According to the indictment, Utecht is subject to sentencing that would render him ineligible for parole until he has served at least 15 years behind bars because Matthews was older than 60.

A bench warrant maintains bail at $553,000, the level previously set for Utecht.

According to police, officers responded to several calls about a naked man on Palainui stopping traffic.

A court document states a witness told police he’d seen the naked man run onto Matthews’ property.

Officers reportedly found Utecht there, still unclothed, attempting to cover Matthews’ lifeless body — which had a stab wound to the neck — with his own body.

After Utecht refused to comply with officers’ commands to show his hands, he was Tasered and taken into custody, documents state.

Utecht reportedly told police he “got naked and went for a long walk” before being confronted by a bat-wielding man. After running from the man, he ran away and entered Matthews’ home, where there were children, and where he was confronted by Matthews, who attempted to defend himself by using his cane to hit Utecht.

After being advised of his rights, Utecht told officers “he didn’t know why he did evil, and he just snapped,” the document states.

Utecht appeared earlier this month in Hilo District Court, where he was granted a mental examination by three mental health professionals and given a return date of Feb. 25. That date becomes moot as the indictment moves Utecht’s case upstairs to Hilo Circuit Court.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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