Kurtistown man charged with murder after charred body found in burnt-out car

Police have charged a Kurtistown man with murder after a corpse was found badly burnt within a vehicle in Puna over the weekend.

According to the Hawaii Police Department, 35-year-old Ammon Kaipo Spencer Stanley was charged with second-degree murder and second degree assault Monday afternoon. Stanley is being held on a $1,010,000 bail.


The charges stem from an incident that was first reported Saturday at around 3 p.m., when Puna Patrol officers responded to a vehicle on fire with a body inside on Beach Road. Officers found the vehicle, and the charred human remains inside of it, about 100 feet off the roadway.

Following up on leads, officers identified Stanley as a suspect and arrested him at 5:55 p.m. Saturday at a Kurtistown residence.

Investigators would later determine that the victim — a male whose identity has been withheld pending identification and notification of next of kin — had been shot while seated within the vehicle on 35th Avenue. A 36-year-old woman had also been shot while seated in the vehicle, but was able to escape to safety.

Stanley then reportedly drove the vehicle to Beach Road, where he set it ablaze with the dead body inside.

The female victim was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Stanley’s initial court appearance is scheduled for today, as is an autopsy of the body.

Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to contact Detective John Balberde at (808) 961-2386 or email him at John.Balberde@hawaiicounty.gov or the police department’s non-emergency number at (808) 935-3311.

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