Foster child death trial continued

  • Chasity Alcosiba-McKenzie (courtesy Hawaii Police Department)

KAILUA-KONA — Jury trial for a woman accused of murder in the 2017 death of a 3-year-old Waimea boy has been continued.

Chasity Alcosiba-McKenzie is now set to stand trial Feb. 18 on a single count of second-degree murder in connection with the July 25, 2017, death of Fabian Garett-Garcia. Alcosiba-McKenzie, who was Garett-Garcia’s caregiver, pleaded not guilty to the offense on Oct. 31 following her Oct. 23 indictment.

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Trial had been slated for early January prior to Kona Circuit Court Judge Melvin H. Fujino granting a motion filed by Deputy Public Defender Ann Datta on behalf of Alcosiba-McKenzie.

Alcosiba-McKenzie remains free in lieu of $10,000 bail pending trial.

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.

The indictment handed down Oct. 23 states Alcosiba-McKenzie intentionally or knowingly caused the death of Garett-Garcia including voluntarily omitting to obtain reasonable necessary and available medical service.

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.

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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.

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