Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor
A Washington state man facing second-degree murder charges on the Big Island has a history of domestic violence arrests.
Howard Philip Zimmerman, 46, of Bellevue, Wash., was charged Wednesday afternoon with second-degree murder, kidnapping, first-degree terroristic threatening and second-degree criminal property damage.
He was arrested late Monday after he allegedly attacked girlfriend Susan Brockert, 44, of Bellevue, Wash. in their Fairmont Orchid hotel room.
Brockert, mother of two children, died at North Hawaii Community Hospital. An autopsy has been ordered to determine the exact cause of death.
Police reported hotel security staff were alerted to screams coming from the couple’s room and witnessed the assault through the balcony window.
Zimmerman remains in custody at the Kona police cellblock pending a court appearance Thursday, May 26. His bail was set at $320,000.
Zimmerman had accompanied Brockert to Hawaii for a business function with her longtime employer, Bensussen Deutsch & Associates.
Meanwhile, Zimmerman’s ex-wife told Seattle media she has a restraining order that prevents Zimmerman from contacting her or their 7-year-old daughter for 20 years.
Amy Zimmerman told a Seattle TV station she and her husband of 21 years divorced several years ago.
“I left the house, and I never went back,” she said. “I’m glad he’s in jail where he belongs now.”
According to official documents, Zimmerman was convicted of cyberstalking in King County and local police had contact with him more than one dozen times.
Court documents also reveal Zimmerman was arrested four times for domestic violence, violating a restraining order, threatening and cyberstalking his ex-wife’s divorce attorney and writing threatening letters.
Zimmerman admitted to writing threatening letters to the city and pleaded guilty to violating a protection order.
He was handed a one-year suspended jail sentence and ordered to attend anger-management classes and get an alcohol and drug evaluation.
Court documents in King County also show Brockert filed a request Nov. 17 for a protective order against Zimmerman, detailing email threats against herself and her children.
Brockert apparently did not follow through and the couple obtained a marriage license in January.