Bellevue man charged in girlfriend's death at Hawaii resort

Bellevue man charged in girlfriend's death at Hawaii resort »Play Video
HONOLULU -- A tourist from Washington state has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a woman at a Big Island resort.

Howard Philip Zimmerman, 46, of Bellevue, Wash., is being held at a Kona police cellblock, charged in the murder of 44-year-old Susan Brockert, also of Bellevue.

Zimmerman faces charges of second-degree murder, kidnapping, first-degree terroristic threatening and second-degree criminal property damage.

On his Facebook page, Zimmerman bragged he was going on vacation to paradise with Susan Brockert, whom he called "the love of his life."

"Susan is getting an all-expense-paid trip to Hawaii. She can take one guest. Guess who it is? Yes, me," he wrote.

Zimmerman checked in to the Fairmont Orchid Resort on Sunday. By Monday night, Brockert was dead.

Security staff at the resort witnessed Brockert being hit on the head with some kind of object after hearing the woman scream and rushing to the room. She died an hour later at the hospital, investigators said.

"I feel so sorry for her family," said the suspect's ex-wife, Amy Zimmerman. "She's got two kids. I hope that they're OK."

Zimmerman said she tried to warn Brockert.

"I wish she would never have let him back in to her life, and just said goodbye and walked away. I did, and I'm alive," she said. "I wish Susan would have followed through with the restraining order."

Brockert filed a request for a protective order against Howard Zimmerman on Nov. 17, outlining email threats against Brockert and her children. The evidence suggested he blasted intimate pictures and video to Brockert's friends and family members and then wrote, "this is nothing compared to what I am going to do to you."

Amy Zimmerman said she once fell victim to his threats herself.

"I left the house, and I never went back," she said, adding that she has a protection order that keeps her ex-husband away from her and their 8-year-old daughter for the next two decades.

"I'm glad he's in jail where he belongs now," she said.

Howard Zimmerman has a prior conviction in King County for cyberstalking. Records show police contacted him 17 different times in two years due to threats to harm and kill, as well as noise complaints.

He is being held on $320,000 bail.