Court: Murder suspect unfit for trial

A 56-year-old homeless man accused of shooting a 32-year-old homeless man to death on the Hilo Bayfront late last year was found unfit for trial.

On Monday, Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura ruled there was “clear and convincing evidence” Mark Anthony Whyne “lacks the capacity to understand the proceedings against him or to assist in his own defense,” according to court records.

The judge ordered Whyne committed to the state Department of Health “for detention, care and treatment and for restoration of fitness.”

One of the three mental health professionals who examined Whyne, psychologist Dr. Tom Cunningham, testified Whyne suffers from schizophrenia.

Whyne, a former special education teacher at Pahoa and McKinley high schools, is charged with second-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and carrying a loaded firearm. He’s accused of the fatal shooting of Faafetai Fiu on Dec. 29 on Bayfront Highway near Mooheau Park. According to court documents filed by police, Fiu was shot eight times, and ballistics tests matched a 9 mm handgun police found in a fanny pack on Whyne’s body when he was arrested Feb. 4 at Wailoa Small Boat Harbor.

Court documents said a child of Fiu’s woke up after hearing gunshots and might have witnessed the shooting.

Nakamura ordered Whyne to appear in court at 8 a.m. Jan. 28. His appearance at that hearing will be by video conference if Whyne is confined to Hawaii State Hospital in Kaneohe, Oahu. It will be in person in the courtroom if Whyne is still on the Big Island.


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