KAILUA-KONA — A Kona grand jury indicted a foster care mother last week for the 2017 murder of a 3-year-old Waimea boy.
Chasity Alcosiba-McKenzie was indicted on one count of second-degree murder for the July 25, 2017, death of Fabian Garett-Garcia.
The indictment states Alcosiba-McKenzie intentionally or knowingly caused the death of Garett-Garcia including voluntarily omitting to obtain reasonable necessary and available medical service.
Police arrested in August 2018 Alcosiba-McKenzie, the boy’s caregiver, on suspicion of attempted second-degree murder, but charges were not filed until the Oct. 23 indictment.
The arrest occurred after police earlier in the month received findings from a forensic pathologist that determined the boy died from non-accidental blunt force trauma to the head.
The Honokaa woman was subsequently released, police said, after prosecutors declined to press charges at the time.
Alcosiba-McKenzie was arrested again on Thursday and made her initial appearance before Judge Melvin Fujino where she pleaded not guilty.
Bail was originally set at $500,000, however, Fujino lowered it to $10,000 over the state’s objection.
Fabian died at 7:54 p.m. July 25, 2017, at North Hawaii Community Hospital, just 37 minutes after emergency responders got the initial 911 call reporting an emergency involving the toddler at a Hoohoa Street home in Waimea.
Hawaii Fire Department personnel found “Fabian lifeless and lying face down beside a pool of his own vomit on a bed” in the McKenzie residence.
Responders also observed, “various stages of bruising” throughout Garett-Garcia’s head, neck and body and “copious amounts of brown-color food-type vomitus in his throat,” according to a lawsuit filed by Fabian’s parents Sherri-Ann Garett and Juben Garcia against the state, Catholic Charities, the caregivers and others for the wrongful death of their son.
Alcosiba-McKenzie — whom the state licensed, appointed and compensated to provide temporary custodial care for children — told responders the bruising was caused by a fall from a 3-foot bench two weeks prior.
At the Waimea hospital, ER personnel “immediately suspected Fabian was a victim of child abuse.”
Trial is set for Jan. 7 in Fujino’s 3rd Circuit courtroom.