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Proceedings continue in wrongful death civil suit

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 Monday, days after the Kona 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 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 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 July 25, 2017, at North Hawaii Community Hospital. 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 in Waimea.

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 lawsuit.

No trial date has been set for the civil litigation. All defendant parties, with the exception of Alcosiba-McKenzie, responded to the complaint, denying the allegations and/or filing cross-claims. Each has demanded a jury trial.

The civil suit is seeking unspecified monetary damages, which attorney Jeffrey Foster, counsel for Garett-Garcia’s parents previously said would be determined by a jury.

Email Chelsea Jensen at
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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