Police: Puna woman charged following reported violent domestic dispute
A Puna woman is being charged with several offenses following a violent domestic altercation on New Year’s Eve.
According to the Hawai‘i Police Department, 21-year-old Yasmine Michelle Lilia Butterfield of Kalapana was arrested and charged following the Dec. 31 incident that stemmed from an argument between Butterfield and her boyfriend regarding the recent death of their 5-month-old son.
Detectives with the Area I Juvenile Aid Section on Wednesday, after conferring with Hawai’i County prosecutors, charged Butterfield with two counts of second-degree assault, abuse of a family household member, first-degree terroristic threatening, unlawful imprisonment and interference with reporting an emergency. Her bail is set at $43,000.
Butterfield remains in police custody pending her initial court appearance Thursday in Hilo District Court.
Puna Patrol officers responded the morning of Jan. 1 to a report of a previous domestic abuse. The 20-year-old victim reported that during the argument the previous night, Butterfield, his live-in girlfriend, told him that she killed their son. As the victim attempted to leave, Butterfield allegedly struck him several times with a wooden block and a metal broom stick, threatened him with a knife and refused to allow him to call for help or leave the residence.
Butterfield left the residence the morning of Jan. 1 and the victim was able to summon help and report these incidents to police. He declined medical attention.
Prior to the domestic-related incident, in the early morning hours of Dec. 31, 2022, Puna Patrol officers responded to a report of an unresponsive 5-month-old baby.
Police and personnel with the Hawai‘i Fire Department met the parents, Butterfield and her boyfriend, on Highway 130 while en route to the Pāhoa Fire Station for medical assistance. The infant was transported via ambulance to Hilo Medical Center and pronounced dead at 5:54 a.m.
An autopsy was performed Jan. 2. The forensic pathologist indicated the infant had evidence of life-threatening traumatic injuries; however, the final determination of the cause of death is pending additional testing.
Area I Criminal Investigation Section detectives are continuing the investigation into the infant’s death.