A Bellevue man accused of killing a Bellevue woman while they were on vacation in Hawaii is mentally fit to stand trial, a judge ruled this week, according to West Hawaii Today.
Philip Howard Zimmerman is accused of killing Susan Brockert, 44, a Bellevue woman described as his girlfriend, in an assault in their hotel room at The Fairmont Orchid resort in the Kohala Coast of Hawaii last May.
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.
He faces charges of second-degree murder, kidnapping and second-degree criminal property damage.
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 had two children and was a graduate of Newport High School in Bellevue and the University of Washington. She worked for Woodinville marketing firm Bensussen Deutsch & Associates, according to Legacy.com.
Brockert 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.