Aunt to represent estate in child starvation case

  • From left: Henrietta Stone, Kevin Lehano, Tiffany Stone. Courtesy photos

HILO — The maternal aunt of a 9-year-old Hilo girl who allegedly was starved to death by her parents and maternal grandmother has been granted permission to represent the girl’s estate.

The ruling Thursday by 3rd Circuit Court Judge Henry Nakamoto paves the way for a judge to hear a wrongful death lawsuit filed last week by Tina Marie Kasten, a Florida resident, on behalf of the estate of Shaelynn Lehano-Stone, who died June 28, 2016, after being found unconscious and apparently malnourished in the Kinoole Street apartment of her grandmother, Henrietta Stone.

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The civil suit names Henrietta Stone; the girl’s mother, Tiffany Stone; her father, Kevin Lehano; and the state as defendants. It claims Lehano and the Stones were negligent for allegedly not feeding the developmentally disabled girl. It also accuses the state of negligence for allowing Henrietta Stone to remove the girl, who allegedly had been on the radar of Child Protective Services and Child Welfare Services, from Hilo Union Elementary School to be home-schooled.

Kasten also represents the interests of Lehano-Stone’s minor siblings, identified only by the initials.

Lehano and the Stones are charged with second-degree murder in the girl’s death and are awaiting trial. All are undergoing mental examinations to determine their fitness to stand trial.

Hearings are set for 9:30 a.m. July 6 for Henrietta Stone and 9:30 a.m. Aug. 17 for Tiffany Stone, both in Nakamoto’s courtroom. Lehano’s hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Sept. 7 before 3rd Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura.

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All three remain in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Email John Burnett at jburnett@hawaiitribune-herald.com.