Trial continued for woman accused of foster child’s death

  • Chasity Alcosiba-McKenzie (courtesy Hawaii Police Department)

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

Chasity Alcosiba-McKenzie is now set to stand trial March 24 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, 2019, eight days after being indicted by a Kona grand jury.

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Trial had originally 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, which moved the date to Feb. 18. Another motion was filed Jan. 27, which Fujino granted after Alcosiba-McKenzie waved her right to a speedy trial.

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

Police initially arrested Alcosiba-McKenzie in August 2018 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, 2019, 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.

Meanwhile, 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 remains in the pleading and discovery phases.

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No trial date has been set for the civil litigation, which is seeking unspecified monetary damages, to 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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