Honoka‘a Woman Indicted in Connection to Foster Child’s DeathNovember 1, 2019, 6:00 AM HST (Updated November 1, 2019, 7:52 AM)
A Honoka‘a woman was indicted in the death of a toddler who had been placed in her care by the state.
Chasity Alcosiba-McKenzie faces a charge of second-degree murder in the death of 3-year-old Fabian Garcia. A bench warrant of $500,000 was issued for her arrest on Oct. 28. She appeared in 3rd Circuit Court before Judge Melvin Fujino where bail was reduced to $10,000. A jury trial has been scheduled for January.
The charge stems from an incident that occurred in a Waimea home on July 25, 2017. According to the indictment, Alcosiba-McKenzie did intentionally or knowingly cause the death of Fabian by “voluntarily omitting to perform a duty” imposed by law, which includes obtaining reasonably necessary and available medical services.
The court document goes on to state Alcosiba-McKenzie was present at the scene of the crime, knew the toddler was suffering from serious physical harm and could have obtained medical services without danger or peril to anyone.
An autopsy perform on Fabian on July 27, 2017, showed the cause of death to be “blunt force trauma to the head,” according to Hawai‘i County Police Department. The manner of death was determined to be non-accidental head trauma.
Alcosiba-McKenzie was first arrested by police on Aug. 15, 2018. At the time, The Prosecutor’s Office did not file charges and she was released from custody.
Earlier this year, Fabian’s parents filed a lawsuit suing the state, Catholic Charities, the caregivers and others for the wrongful death of their son.
If convicted, the charge carries a possible sentence of a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment without possibility of parole.
The family’s attorney Jeffrey Foster provided a statement to Hawaii News Now:
“For the last two and a half years, the Garett-Garcia family has been stuck in a purgatory, waiting for Fabian’s killer to be held legally accountable for Fabian’s death. While the legal charges for the foster mother confirm the family’s worst fears, it also serves as an indictment for the foster care system on Hawaii Island. The family hopes that Fabian’s death will result in long overdue changes to the foster care system and a pledge of the necessary financial resources to protect children.”