Hearing delayed for Hawaii woman charged with boy’s death

September 18, 2019

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii (AP) — A hearing to consider a mental evaluation for one of two women charged with killing a 6-year-old boy was postponed after a jail failed to transport her to court.

Kuuipo Nihipali, 32, was not transported from Hawaii Community Correctional Center in Hilo by the state Department of Public Safety Monday, West Hawaii Today reported Tuesday.

Kuuipo Nihipali and 34-year-old Ashley Nihipali pleaded not guilty in August to second-degree murder in the death of Mazen Kaniela Nihipali-Moniz.

The married women had informal custody Nihipali-Moniz, who was found unconscious in a Big Island apartment complex in October 2018. The boy was taken by a family member to the Kailua Fire Station before medics transported him to Kona Community Hospital, where he died, authorities said.

The death was ruled a homicide after autopsy results revealed the cause of death involved trauma, officials said.

They also face charges of tampering with physical evidence, terroristic threatening, domestic abuse, and being an accomplice to terroristic threatening and domestic abuse. The murder charges are separate from the other charges, which stem from allegations the two women abused Nihipali-Moniz and his four siblings from June to October 2018, officials said.

Circuit Court Judge Robert Kim continued Monday’s hearing until Sept. 23 and ordered correctional center Warden Peter Cabreros to provide an explanation about Kuuipo Nihipali’s absence. Ashley Nihipali was transported to the hearing, despite not having a motion before the court, which is normal protocol for cases involving more than one defendant.

The women are being held on $1 million bail each and a jury trial is scheduled for November.


Information from: West Hawaii Today, http://www.westhawaiitoday.com