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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, January 8, 2010

Slain couple's kids were home during incident

By John Burnett
Hawaii Tribune-Herald

HILO, Hawai'i Police say that the two young children of a couple who died in an apparent murder-suicide were in the Pi'ihonua home when the incident occurred on the driveway.

Kaylee-Marie Batalona, 7, and her 6-year-old brother, Koran Batalona, were inside the house on Mana'olana Place on Dec. 30 when 28-year-old Harry Batalona Jr. allegedly shot his estranged girlfriend, Jolene Medeiros, 24, and then turned the small-caliber rifle on himself. The home is owned by Harry Batalona's parents.

"They (the children) were not in a position to view what happened," Capt. Randall Medeiros of the Hilo Criminal Investigation Section said Wednesday. He is not related to Jolene Medeiros.

Batalona died shortly after the incident, which happened just before 7 p.m. Jolene Medeiros died Saturday morning.

Capt. Medeiros said an autopsy performed Tuesday determined that she died of a single gunshot wound to the head. He said the woman was shot multiple times and was hit twice in the head, although one bullet did not penetrate her skull.

Capt. Medeiros said police are continuing to investigate the incident as a murder-suicide.

Jolene Medeiros, who was a checkout clerk at the downtown Hilo KTA Super Store and a nursing student at Hawai'i Community College, had obtained a temporary restraining order against Batalona on Dec. 21.

In her TRO petition filed on Dec. 18, she wrote that on Dec. 12, Batalona threatened her, accused her of infidelity, hit her in the face, and refused to allow her to leave the house.

She also wrote that on Dec. 18, Batalona went to her workplace in a fit of jealous rage, grabbed her by the arm and pulled her outside the store while yelling at her.

She also requested court-ordered protection for the couple's children.

Police say Medeiros, who was living in the rented Kaumana home she had previously shared with Batalona, drove to Batalona's parents' home, and was still in her car when she was shot. Asked why she had gone there with a restraining order in effect, Capt. Medeiros replied: "That's part of the investigation."

Batalona had been convicted twice of third-degree assault, including a scuffle at the W.A.I. Lounge, a Maka'ala Street bar, for which he pleaded guilty on Nov. 30. Records indicate that Jolene Medeiros paid $1,000 to bail Batalona out of jail.

Batalona was sentenced to a year of probation including 30 days in jail, with credit for one day served. District Judge Barbara Takase suspended 23 days of the sentence and ordered Batalona to report to jail on Dec. 7.