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.
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.
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.