Woman found fit for trial in starvation case

  • Tiffany Stone is escorted into Hilo Circuit Court Friday. (JOHN BURNETT/Tribune-Herald)

  • KEVIN LEHANO
  • HENRIETTA STONE

HILO — A 34-year-old Hilo woman accused of starving her 9-year-old daughter to death was found fit to stand trial.

Three mental health professionals — psychiatrist Dr. Leonard Jacobs and psychologists Duke Wagner and Tom Cunningham — all found Tiffany Stone fit, it was revealed Friday in Hilo Circuit Court.

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A trial date wasn’t set for Stone because Hilo Circuit Judge Henry Nakamoto granted a request by Stone’s court-appointed attorney, Melody Parker, to have the examiners also decide the issue of penal responsibility — Stone’s state of mind at the time of the offense and whether she understood the wrongfulness of her alleged actions.

Nakamoto scheduled a hearing on the examiners’ reports for 9:30 a.m. Jan. 18, 2019.

Stone, the girl’s 51-year-old father, Kevin Lehano, and 61-year-old maternal grandmother, Henrietta Stone, are charged with second-degree murder for the June 28, 2016, death of Shaelynn Alohalani Haleaka Lehano-Stone, who died after being found unconscious and apparently malnourished in Henrietta Stone’s Kinoole Street apartment.

A hearing on Henrietta Stone’s fitness for trial is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 21, also before Nakamoto.

Lehano was found fit to stand trial. Jury selection is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. May 20, 2019, in the courtroom of Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura.

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

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Tina Marie Kasten, a maternal aunt of the deceased girl, was appointed representative of the girl’s estate in civil matters relating to the child’s death.

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