Fire damages home where alleged bludgeoning death occurred

  • STANLEY CUMMINS

A Hawaiian Shores home where police say a homicide took place 2 1/2 weeks ago was substantially damaged by fire Wednesday morning.

According to a written Hawaii Fire Department statement, 10 units responded to the 9:04 a.m. alarm of a fire at 15-2768 Opae St., with the first unit arriving on scene at 9:20 a.m.

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Arriving firefighters found the second floor of the two-story structure fully involved in flames and nobody at the scene.

“The doors and windows of the bottom story were noted to be boarded up with plywood,” the statement read.

The fire was reported under control at 9:50 a.m. and extinguished at 10:30 a.m.

Damage was estimated at $140,000, and firefighters were able to save an estimated $28,000 in property value.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

According to county property tax records, the home’s owners are Stanley and Celeste Cummins.

Stanley Cummins, 51, is charged with second-degree murder for allegedly bludgeoning to death a tenant, 35-year-old Jace Whitney Ahquin, in a downstairs bedroom the morning of June 20.

According to court documents, police received a call from someone that morning saying, “Jace got hit with a bat.” Responding officers found Ahquin lying supine in a downstairs bed with “a major indentation to his face” and was “gasping for air,” documents state.

Ahquin died prior to the arrival of Hawaii Fire Department medics, according to police.

Cummins reportedly turned himself in at the Pahoa police station with a bloody baseball bat in hand and mumbled “self-defense is self-defense” as he was being booked, documents state.

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He is in custody in lieu of $1 million bail at Hawaii Community Correctional Center and is scheduled for the resumption today of a preliminary hearing that began July 2.

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

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