East Hawaii News

Man Arraigned in 2011 Death of 19-Month-Old Child

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A 38-year-old Mountain View man was arrested and arraigned today in connection with the 2011 murder of a 19-month-old girl in Hilo.

Xavier Cortez, whose nickname is “Pee Wee,” appeared before Circuit Court Judge Glenn Hara who ordered him to appear for trial on June 2.

Hara set Cortez’s bail at $1 million.

Cortez is accused of second-degree murder in the Jan. 8, 2011 death of Pomaikai Ferreira, the daughter of his girlfriend at the time.

Ferreira had been taken to Hilo Medical Center six days earlier with difficulty breathing.

She was transferred to The Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu where she died.

The medical examiner who performed the autopsy on the toddler ruled the death was a homicide. The cause was skull and brain damage resulting from “abusive head trauma,” police said at the time.

Cortez was arrested for assault on Jan. 2, 2011 but was later released pending further investigation.

Police said today that the case was presented to a grand jury on Wednesday, Jan. 22, which returned an indictment against Cortez.

The indictment was sealed while police searched for the suspect.

Acting on a tip, police arrested Cortez this morning without incident at a home in the Livingston subdivision in Mountain View.


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