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Hilo Woman Held on $1M Bail After Striking Elderly Man With Knife

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Frances Hartman

A Hilo woman is facing an attempted murder charge after reportedly attacking her elderly father-in-law with a knife while he was caring for her 1-year-old daughter.

The alleged attack occurred on Aug. 31 in the Komohana subdivision. According to the Hawaii County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, 31-year-old Frances Hartman threatened the 77-year-old man and later struck him with a knife causing a serious cut to his abdomen.

“Hartman then took the child, whom she is prohibited to have contact with by court order, and fled the scene on foot,” the prosecuting attorney’s office reported in a press release Friday. “Hartman was arrested a short time later at a nearby neighborhood park.”

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The child was unharmed and returned to her lawful guardians.

Along with second-degree attempted murder charge, Hartman also faces first-degree custodial interference, second-degree terroristic threatening and violation of a protection order.

Prosecutors have provided notice to seek an extended term of imprisonment, alleging that Hartman is an offender against the elderly. A second-degree attempted murder charge usually carries a penalty of life in prison with the possibility of parole. An extended prison term would mean that Hartman would face life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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Prosecutors have also provided notice of an intention to seek a mandatory prison term in accordance with statutory sentencing guidelines in relation to imprisonment for offenses against the elderly.

Hartman is scheduled to make her initial appearance this afternoon in Hilo District Court. At this time, Hartman remains in custody in lieu of $1.02 million bail.

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