Bellevue Man in Hawaii Resort Murder Case Scheduled for Mental Health Hearing

Philip Howard Zimmerman of Bellevue, accused of second-degree murder in connection with the death of his girlfriend, Susan Brockert, while they were on a trip to Hawaii, will have a mental health hearing scheduled this week.

A mental health hearing is scheduled this week for a Bellevue man accused of killing his girlfriend, , and his trial could start in about three months, according to a Hawaii prosecutor.

A decision will be made this week in a Hawaii court on whether Philip Howard Zimmerman can raise issues of mental health in his defense, said Joyce Seelen, deputy prosecutor of the County of Hawai'i.

Brockert, 44, of Bellevue, was pronounced dead after the assault in their hotel room at The Fairmont Orchid resort in the Kohala Coast of Hawaii. Resort workers witnessed part of the assault from outside the room and, after they kicked in the door, they said that they saw Zimmerman holding a tile that was used to strike Brockert.

Zimmerman, who has been held without bail, has been in an infirmary at the Oahu Community Correctional Center for mental health issues and for refusing to eat for the past month, Seelen said.

Seelen said that a trial date could be "three months out," but added that it was "impossible to speculate" how his defense might affect the date of the trial.

Zimmerman's attorney, public defender Peter Bresciani, declined to talk to Bellevue Patch last week about the case.

The night of May 23, a resort worker heard someone cry for help and heard banging noises coming from their room, and he climbed onto the balcony from an adjacent room,

The worker said that Brockert, who was lying on the floor, looked at him and appeared to be trying to say something when she was struck twice more with pieces of broken hotel furniture, according to Hawaii 24/7. Resort workers told the court that they broke in and found her without a pulse, and said that Zimmerman, still holding a tile that was used to strike her, locked himself in the bathroom, according to news reports.

Brockert, who was raised in Bellevue and had two children, had apparently received the trip as a 15th anniversary gift from her workplace, according to a report by Hawaii News Now.

The Hawaii News Now's report also stated that court records showed that Zimmerman, also known as Howard Philip Zimmerman, had a history of domestic violence, including against Brockert and against his ex-wife, and had made threats to the Bellevue Police Chief, the city council and other city officials.

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