Attempted murder case: Popular New Zealand TikTok influencer Darren Maheno arrested in US – RNZ

By Craig Kapitan of NZ Herald
Former Invercargill resident Darren Maheno, who had a large TikTok following, has been charged with attempted murder in California. Photo: TikTok / Darren Maheno
A prolific TikTok user from Invercargill who racked up millions of views on his videos before vanishing from the social media platform has been arrested in the United States, charged with attempted murder.
The Los Angeles Police Department has confirmed to the Herald that Darren John Maheno, 45, has been in custody for the past two weeks.
Officers were called to an address in Woodland Hills, a northwestern suburb in the Los Angeles metro area, for an alleged domestic violence incident about 4.15am on 6 September.
During an arraignment hearing two days later, Maheno pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, domestic violence and illegal threats.
He has remained incarcerated since his arrest, with his bail set at US$1.03 million (NZ$1.75m).
Attempted murder carries a maximum punishment in California of life in prison with the possibility of parole if it is found to be wilful, deliberate and premeditated. It is punishable by up to nine years’ prison if not found to be wilful, deliberate or premeditated.
Maheno had more than 165,000 followers on TikTok and his videos had racked up 2.8 million likes before he deactivated his account last year.
His arrest has been widely rumoured on TikTok in recent days, but with many posts incorrectly stating he was charged with murder.
A mutual friend of Maheno and his partner shared blurred photos of Maheno’s partner in a hospital bed and snippets of a Messenger exchange with the woman. She gave him permission to publish the screenshots on social media to combat misinformation about the case.
The woman, who is said to now be at home and recovering, did not respond to a request from the Herald to speak with her.
This story was originally published by the NZ Herald.
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