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Artist Shingo Honda Killed on Big Island

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RAFU WIRE SERVICES

HONOLULU — Michael Cecil Lee, 55, was charged with second-degree murder on Monday in connection with the death of Shingo Honda, 75.

Shingo Honda was a featured artist at L.A. Artcore in Little Tokyo in 2003. (Rafu Shimpo photo)

An autopsy performed on Dec. 6 determined that Honda died as a result of multiple injuries caused by blunt force trauma.

His body was found last Wednesday in a black trash bag under a pile of fern branches along Road 9 in Puna on the Big Island.

Police arrested Lee on Saturday morning at the Pahoa Christmas Parade. During his arrest, Lee shouted, “Yeah, I’m wanted for murder, I killed that dude two days ago! And I left all the evidence for you guys!”

Court documents say Lee admitted to kicking and hitting Honda until he stopped breathing. The documents further reveal that Honda had been trying to befriend Lee and had visited his residence multiple times.

During an initial courtroom appearance in Hilo District Court, Lee was disruptive, interrupting Judge Kimberly Taniyama as she asked him questions.

Lee is being held on $250,000 bail.

Honda was a well-known artist and Zen teacher whose work was featured in galleries in Japan, Hawaii and Los Angeles. According to his website, Honda moved from Tokyo to Los Angeles in the mid-1980s.

Artcore Center in Little Tokyo hosted a number of exhibitions by Honda, who graduated from Tama Fine Arts College in Tokyo. He was also featured in 1994 at a biennial exhibition at Doizaki Gallery at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center. More recently, his worked was shown at Idspace in Hilo.

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