One inmate died after a fight. The other had been hospitalized with a medical condition.

A 31-year-old prisoner at the Halawa Correctional Facility died last week after he was involved in a fight, one of two deaths at the prison in recent weeks.

Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said in a written statement that Chazaray Mahuka-McShane was pronounced dead at The Queen’s Medical Center on Sept. 6 after the fight.

According to Schwartz, staff at Halawa were conducting a headcount at 2:25 p.m. on Sept. 5 when they saw two inmates fighting in a cell. Corrections officers restrained one inmate, and the other remained lying on the ground, breathing heavily.

Chazaray Mahuka-McShane (Hawaii Department of Public Safety)

Both inmates were taken to nearby hospitals, and one was returned to the prison that evening. Mahuka-McShane was pronounced dead at 5:24 p.m. the next day, according to the prison.

Schwartz said criminal and internal investigations are pending in the case.

Mahuka-McShane was sent to prison last year to serve a five-year term for unauthorized control of a propelled vehicle and a drug charge after his probation was revoked for those convictions.

Separately, the prison system announced an 84-year-old Halawa inmate who shot and killed his neighbor in a public housing complex in 2009 also died.

According to a death notice published by the Hawaii Department of Public Safety, Melvin Yoshida died at 10:35 a.m. on July 27 at Pali Momi Medical Center.

Schwartz said Yoshida had been hospitalized on July 20 for “an undisclosed health condition,” and no information was available about his cause of death.

Yoshida was 72 years old when he was sentenced to a prison term of up to 20 years for shooting his neighbor Clare Silva, 54, on Easter Sunday in 2009.

Yoshida’s defense lawyer told the court at his sentencing that Yoshida had suffered from depression for years, and his mental health deteriorated after the death of his wife of 33 years in 2008.

Yoshida became friends with Silva because they both lived at Punchbowl Homes public housing, but Yoshida shot her after she declined his romantic advances, according to court testimony.

Schwartz said the department delayed announcing Yoshida’s death while it conducted an exhaustive search for his next of kin, but finally released information about the case after it was unable to locate any family.

Help power our public service journalism

As a local newsroom, Civil Beat has a unique public service role in times of crisis.

That’s why we’re committed to a paywall-free website and subscription-free content, so we can get vital information out to everyone, from all communities.

We are deploying a significant amount of our resources to covering the Maui fires, and your support ensures that we can pivot when these types of emergencies arise.

Make a gift to Civil Beat today and help power our nonprofit newsroom.

About the Author