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Police Say Suspect in Hawaiʻi Acid Attack Plotted With Inmate to Carry Out 2nd Incident

(AP) — A man accused of dousing a woman with acid in Hawaii last year allegedly tried to cast doubt on himself as a suspect by plotting with a fellow inmate to carry out a second, similar attack, authorities said.

While incarcerated on an attempted murder charge for the April 7, 2023 attack, Paul Cameron plotted with another inmate, Sebastian Mahkwan, and arranged for Mahkwan’s bail so that he could be released to carry out a separate attack, according to a superseding grand jury indictment Tuesday.

The motive was to cast doubt on Cameron as a suspect in the first attack, said Honolulu police Lt. Deena Thoemmes.

Cameron was at Oahu Community Correctional Center in Honolulu after being indicted for last year’s attack in a parking lot in Mililani, a Honolulu suburb. Mahkwan was in the same jail awaiting trial on drug and assault charges.

From jail, Cameron called someone to arrange for bail for Mahkwan, telling that person he trusts Mahkwan because he’s his boyfriend, but described him as a coworker in a phone call to his mother, according to the superseding indictment.

Cameron arranged for the title and keys of his motorcycle to be given to a bail bondsman as collateral for Mahkwan’s $8,000 bail, the new indictment said.

On January 22, Mahkwan was released on bail. He listed Cameron as a reference on his bail bond application and agreement, the indictment says.

The next day, Mahkwan allegedly doused a woman with acid while she walked near Ala Moana Center, a Honolulu mall. She suffered severe burns to her face and body.

“The indictment details a diabolical plot that resulted in a complete stranger – an innocent woman – being gravely wounded,” Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said.

A corrections officer found an envelope during an inspection of the kitchen common area of the jail that contained documents with detailed instructions on committing an act like the one Cameron was charged with and details on where to get acid, the indictment says.

The woman in the first incident told Hawaii News Now he attacked her because she wouldn’t date him.

Phone messages left by The Associated Press for lawyers of both men were not immediately returned Wednesday.

They were being held without bail.

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