Judge denies bail for man charged with murder

  • KELSEY WALLING/Tribune-Herald Jarvis Rockwell Hung Leung Boots appears in court Tuesday at the courthouse in Hilo.

  • BOOTS

  • DAVIDSON

A Mountain View man charged with murdering a father of three at Puainako Town Center was denied bail Tuesday.

Jarvis Rockwell Hung Leung Boots, 30, made an initial appearance in Hilo Circuit Court on charges of second-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of attempted second-degree murder and a host of firearm offenses after a string of what a prosecutor called “random acts of violence” last weekend.

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According to a police report, Boots was implicated in a pair of shooting incidents in Hilo and Papaikou earlier this month.

On Dec. 2, a 24-year-old man was shot multiple times near the area of the Papaikou Transfer Station and was taken to Hilo Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. A witness to that incident, a 50-year-old man, also was shot at, but was uninjured.

Then, on the morning of Dec. 18, multiple gunshots were reported at the Puainako Town Center in Hilo, where 41-year-old Hilo resident Benjamin Craig Davidson, a father of three and a security guard at the center, was shot several times while seated in his vehicle.

Davidson was pronounced dead of gunshots to his head and upper body at Hilo Medical Center.

The Puainako incident triggered an islandwide police manhunt during the weekend, with police detectives finding the shooter’s vehicle Saturday evening on North Lauko Road in Mountain View.

As police closed in, Boots reportedly attempted to leave the scene in the vehicle but was stopped a short distance away and arrested.

Police allegedly recovered several firearms and other prohibited weapons from Boots’ vehicle and Mountain View residence on Sunday morning.

Boots is facing charges from both shooting incidents and the illegal weapons.

In the Puainako incident, he faces charges of second-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a separate felony.

Boots’ charges from the Papaikou incident include attempted first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree terroristic threatening, two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a separate felony, possessing a firearm on a highway and improper storage of a pistol.

The weapons offenses include five charges of prohibited ownership of firearms, three counts of improper firearm permits and one count each of improper storage of a pistol, possessing a firearm on a highway and possession of an illegal butterfly knife.

Boots was in court Tuesday for his initial appearance, where deputy prosecuting attorney Kelden Waltjen argued against allowing him bail because of the nature of his charges.

Waltjen said Boots’ alleged offenses include seemingly random acts of violence involving three unrelated victims, one of whom was killed and another of whom was hospitalized in critical condition. Because of this, he argued, Boots poses a substantial danger to public safety and granting him bail at all would make further crimes more likely.

Judge Bruce Larson agreed, adding that the Puainako incident appeared to indicate that Boots had attempted to murder a witness to his offense, and suggested that releasing Boots could endanger other witnesses.

Larson denied Boots’ bail. Boots will next appear in court for a status conference Jan. 7.

Members of Davidson’s family, including his partner of 15 years, were in the courtroom Tuesday, tearfully but silently watching Boots’ hearing.

Davidson’s partner, Jade Navor, described Davidson as “the protector to his three younger sisters … (and) an amazing artist” with a passion for billiards, in an interview with Hawaii News Now.

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A fundraiser for Davidson’s family was posted last weekend at https://tinyurl.com/yb3zzhyk.

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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