Parole board denies request to reduce minimum term for convicted killer

  • Casey Eason is seen in this undated Department of Public Safety photo. (File photo/West Hawaii Today)
  • Casey Eason is seen in this 2003 Hawaii Police Department photo. (File photo/West Hawaii Today)
  • Michael Rhett Hackmeyer, right, hugs his mother Bunny Hackmeyer, who was murdered in April 2003 by Casey Cameron Eason. (File photo/West Hawaii Today)
  • Sheriff's escort Casey Eason to the Kona District Court in April 2003 for a hearing on the murder of Michael Rhett Hackmeyer. Hackmeyer's body was found near Makalawena Beach on April 10, 2003. (File photo/West Hawaii Today)

KAILUA-KONA — There’ll be no early parole for a man sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for an April 2003 murder in North Kona.

Casey Cameron Eason, 44, will remain incarcerated after the Hawaii Paroling Authority on Monday denied a request to reduce the minimum sentence he has to serve before becoming eligible for supervised release. He is currently being held at Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona.


Eason is serving his term for the murder of 39-year-old Michael Rhett Hackmeyer. The Hawaii Paroling Authority in 2004 set the minimum term Eason must serve at 33 years.

However, all inmates are eligible to apply for a reduction in the minimum sentence after serving at least a third of the longest minimum term, said Toni Schwartz, Department of Public Safety spokeswoman. A request by Eason for reduction in October 2015 was also denied.

“The HPA reviewed his applications and denied his requests for reduction of his minimum term as the parole board felt that his 33-year minimum term remains appropriate,” Schwartz said.

Hackmeyer’s badly beaten and partially decomposed body was found April 10, 2003, alongside the access road to Makalawena Beach.

Eason, who was 28 at the time and residing in the Kona Highlands subdivision, was arrested by police on April 14, 2003, and subsequently charged with second-degree murder with cruel and heinous provisions attached.

During a preliminary hearing, Hawaii Police detectives testified that Eason gave conflicting stories when questioned about Hackmeyer’s death, according to West Hawaii Today archives. He first told police three large men beat Hackmeyer to death before confessing to bludgeoning Hackmeyer to death with a torque wrench after the two got into an altercation over money and drugs on or around April 1.

There was also a 9-1-1 call from Hackmeyer’s phone made on April 1 in which Hackmeyer identified his attacker as “Casey” to the call taker.

An autopsy determined Hackmeyer died of severe head injuries. Eason, according to preliminary hearing testimony, told police he struck Hackmeyer five to six times over the head with the torque wrench.

Eason was sentenced April 16, 2004, to life in prison with the possibility of parole. In exchange for Eason’s no contest plea to second-degree murder, the state dropped the cruel and heinous provisions filed with the charge that would have locked him up for life.

Attempts to reach Hackmeyer’s family were unsuccessful on Tuesday.

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