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KAILUA-KONA A 45-year-old woman accused of murder in the death of a 3-year-old Waimea boy two years ago is free on bail pending trial.
KAILUA-KONA — A 45-year-old woman accused of murder in the death of a 3-year-old Waimea boy two years ago is free on bail pending trial.
Chasity Alcosiba-McKenzie posted $10,000 bail on Monday, days after the Circuit Court judge overseeing the case reduced bail for the woman from $500,000, according to court records.
Alcosiba-McKenzie was indicted by a Kona grand jury late last month on a single count of second-degree murder in connection with the July 25, 2017, death of Fabian Garett-Garcia. Alcosiba-McKenzie was his caregiver.
She pleaded not guilty to the charge during an initial appearance Thursday before Judge Melvin H. Fujino. Trial is set for early January.
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 initially arrested Alcosiba-McKenzie last August on suspicion of second-degree murder after findings from a forensic pathologist determined the Garett-Garcia died from nonaccidental blunt force trauma to the head. However, Alcosiba-McKenzie was released when prosecutors declined to file charges at the time, police said in a press release.
Garett-Garcia 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 wrongful death lawsuit filed in April by Garett-Garcia’s parents Sherri-Ann Garett and Juben Garcia against the state Department of Human Services, Catholic Charities, state-licensed caregivers Chasity Alcosiba-McKenzie and Clifton McKenzie and others.
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, according to the suit.
No trial date has been set for the civil litigation, which remains in the pleading and discovery phases. All defendant parties, with the exception of Alcosiba-McKenzie, have responded to the complaint, denying the allegations and/or filing cross-claims. Each has demanded jury trial.
The civil suit is seeking unspecified monetary damages, which Attorney Jeffrey Foster, counsel for Garett-Garcia’s parents Sherri-Ann Garett and Juben Garcia, previously said would be determined by a jury.
Clifton McKenzie has not been arrested or charged with a crime in connection with the incident, and is only a defendant in the civil litigation.
To report a child being abused or neglected — whether by a family member or a resource caregiver — call the Department of Human Services 24-hour child abuse and neglect hotline at 832-5300.
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