Eric Thompson nearly got away with murder, according to the Honolulu Police, but the 34-year-old entrepreneur was undone by a dropped hat. Thompson was arrested this week in connection with the fatal shooting of his wife’s former acupuncturist and lover Jon Tokuhara.
Police first thought the killing was a random act of violence after Tokuhara, 47, was found around 8 a.m. on Jan. 13 dead on the floor of his Oahu studio next to three spent bullet casings.
During a month-long investigation, police say they determined that the killer drove a white Chevy Silverado, which was spotted on CCTV camera footage. The truck had been parked outside the clinic in Waipahu, Oahu, for just 45 seconds the morning of the killing. Police tracked down 53 similar cars on the island and found all of the owners, according to Hawaii News Now.
Thompson was the only person who did not have an alibi for the morning, but police were perplexed since there was no apparent ties between the men, and Thompson was a successful entrepreneur with no obvious criminal inclination. Though hardly damning, they found it odd that the victim was killed the day before Thompson and his wife Joyce’s wedding anniversary.
Upon further investigation into the victim, police found text messages between him and a mystery married woman, including explicit photos in which her face was fuzzy but identifiable. One message between the two lovers expressed concern that the woman’s husband had discovered the affair, with the wife writing to her lover that “he might kill you” if the affair continues, according to local media reports.
There were no more communications after July between the pair, and it is unclear whether Thompson’s wife, who was a patient at the acupuncture clinic, continued to see the acupuncturist romantically—or professionally.
Studying the CCTV camera footage further, police say they noted that the assailant dropped his hat as he ran from the studio the morning of the murder. A short time later, the cameras picked up a homeless man retrieving the hat, putting it on and walking away. Police were able to track down the homeless man and retrieve the lost hat, which was tested for hair and DNA fibers that police say match Thompson’s.
Police briefly suspected Thompson’s wife might have also been in on the alleged murder, according to reports, but she has so far not been charged. Cellphones, the Silverado, and other evidence was taken from the couple’s home Monday by police. Police also recovered 12 firearms registered to Thompson and two that were not registered in Hawaii. It is not clear if any match the shell casings found at the crime scene.
Thompson was able to post a $1 million cash bail shortly after his arrest on Monday. It is not clear if he returned home to stay with his wife. He is expected in court on Thursday to face formal arraignment. He faces second-degree murder charges as well as carrying a firearm while committing a felony.