Puna shooting victim was on felony probation


HILO — A 38-year-old man shot and killed Sunday night or early Monday morning in Puna was serving four years of probation after pleading guilty to a felony theft charge.

On Jan. 30, Hilo Circuit Judge Henry Nakamoto sentenced Joshua John Santos to the probation term, including a year in jail, for second-degree theft.


According to court records, the judge gave Santos credit for time served and took the remainder of the time under advisement, allowing Santos to be released from Hawaii Community Correctional Center that day. In return for Santos’ plea, prosecutors dropped charges of unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle, unauthorized control of a motor vehicle and habitual property crime.

The charge Santos was convicted of, as well as those dropped in the plea deal, are all Class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison.

Police identified Santos as the victim in a shooting in Fern Acres subdivision. According to a statement, officers responding to a 12:30 a.m. Monday call found Santos’ body — with what they described as “an apparent gunshot wound” — on the driveway of a Plumeria Street residence.

Police detectives opened a second-degree murder investigation, and an autopsy was ordered to determine the cause of death.

Police had no suspect in custody as of press time Monday.

Court records indicate Santos had a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1999, with convictions on 51 charges, seven of them felonies — including robbery, drug and drug paraphernalia possession, escape, bail jumping and unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle.


Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Detective Kelly Moniz at 961-2385 or email kelly.moniz@hawaiicounty.gov, or to call the police nonemergency line at 935-3311 or Crime Stoppers at 961-8300.

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

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