Trial set in fatal Mountain View shooting

  • JOHN BURNETT/Tribune-Herald Ryan Davis appears Monday in Hilo Circuit Court.

A 35-year-old Puna man accused of a fatal shooting March 17 in Mountain View pleaded not guilty Monday in Hilo Circuit Court.

Hilo Circuit Judge Henry Nakamoto ordered Ryan Frederick Davis to appear for trial at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 9.

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Davis is charged with second-degree murder for allegedly shooting 38-year-old Joshua John Santos of Puna to death in the driveway of a Plumeria Street home in Fern Acres subdivision.

Davis also is charged with using a firearm in the commission of a separate felony, first-degree terroristic threatening and possessing unregistered firearms.

Deputy Prosecutor Haaheo Kahoohalahala told the judge the trial would take an estimated five weeks.

Davis, who was indicted April 17 by a Hilo grand jury, faces a sentence of life with the possibility of parole if convicted of the murder charge. Using a firearm in the commission of a felony is a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years upon conviction. The remaining charges are Class C felonies that carry a possible five-year prison term.

According to court documents filed by police, Davis’ girlfriend told officers Santos came to the house looking for his girlfriend, who is Davis’ girlfriend’s sister. Santos was allegedly enraged when informed the woman wasn’t there.

Davis came outside with a rifle, and Santos accused him of having an affair with Santos’ girlfriend, according to Davis’ girlfriend. She said Santos threw a punch intended for her but struck Davis in the face instead, documents state.

The woman reportedly told police she ran inside after Davis fired a shot in the air. Davis allegedly told a detective that after he fired the warning shot, Santos came after him, and Davis then shot Santos from a distance of about 5 feet with a .22-caliber handgun. After Santos turned and ran, Davis allegedly fired two additional shots.

Davis reportedly told the detective, “He attacked my wife. She’s pregnant. I had to kill him.”

At Davis’ initial court appearance March 21, Deputy Prosecutor Kelden Waltjen, who is assigned the case for trial, told Hilo District Judge Bruce Larson, “Here, the alleged facts are that the defendant fired three shots from a handgun, striking unarmed Joshua Santos three times — once in the chest and twice in the back.”

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Davis remains in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in lieu of $310,000 bail.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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