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Hawaii women plead not guilty in death of boy last year

August 8, 2019

HILO, Hawaii (AP) — Two Hawaii women have pleaded not guilty to all charges in connection with the death of a young boy last year, a report said.

Ashley Nihipali, 34, and Kuuipo Nihipali, 32, pleaded not guilty Monday to multiple charges including second-degree murder, the Hawaii Tribune Herald reported Tuesday.

They also face separate charges of tampering with physical evidence, terroristic threatening, domestic abuse, and being an accomplice to terroristic threatening and domestic abuse, authorities said.

Both women turned themselves in to police on Monday.

The married women had informal custody of 6-year-old Mazen Nihipali-Moniz, who was injured Oct. 31 at an apartment where the women lived in Kailua-Kona, about 78 miles (126 kilometers) west of Hilo, officials said.

Mazen Nihipali-Moniz was unconscious and taken to the Kailua-Kona Fire Station around 4:30 p.m. before being transported to a hospital. The boy was pronounced dead at Kona Community Hospital at about 5:30 p.m., authorities said.

Nihipali-Moniz’s injuries were not consistent with those from an accident, authorities said.

The murder charges are related to the October incident, while the remaining charges the two women face stem from events that took place from June 1 to Oct. 30, 2018, court officials said.

A previously sealed indictment was returned by a grand jury Aug. 1. The indictment was unsealed by a circuit court judge Monday.

The two women are being held on $1 million bail each at Hawaii Community Correctional Center and are prohibited from contacting three unidentified minors, officials said.

A jury trial is set for November 2019.

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, http://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

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