Indreginal’s mother and sister avoid jail
The relatives of the slain girl were convicted for the theft of assistance benefits
The mother and half sister of slain Kahealani Indreginal will not serve jail time for stealing more than $53,000 in public assistance benefits.
Lehua Tumbaga: The 40-year-old gets five years' probation for stealing $43,583
Tanya Mamala-Tumbaga: A judge grants her request for a deferred guilty plea
Circuit Judge Richard Perkins sentenced Lehua Tumbaga, 40, yesterday to five years' probation and ordered her to repay the state Department of Human Services $43,583 that she fraudulently obtained from January 2002 to July 2004. He also ordered her to perform 250 hours of community service.
Perkins granted a request by Tumbaga's daughter, Tanya Mamala-Tumbaga, 21, to defer her guilty plea. If she abides by court conditions for five years, the conviction will be removed from her record.
He also ordered Mamala-Tumbaga to repay $9,637 in benefits that she fraudulently obtained between July 2002 and December 2002 and March 2004 and June 2004, and to perform 200 hours of community service.
After Lehua Tumbaga's daughter Kahealani Indreginal was reported missing in December 2002, the family came under intense media scrutiny. A case worker began looking into information being reported about the family, sparking the investigation that resulted in the charges.
The body of the 11-year-old girl was found several days after she disappeared from the Halawa housing complex where her family lived. Mamala-Tumbaga's longtime boyfriend, Christopher Aki, was later convicted of manslaughter in the death of the girl, who was Mamala-Tumbaga's half sister. Aki is appealing his conviction.
Tumbaga and Mamala-Tumbaga waived indictment on July 5 and pleaded guilty to first-degree theft and two counts of second-degree theft, respectively.
Perkins rejected Tumbaga's request for a deferral, saying she had been granted one previously and could not obtain one again. Tumbaga had been previously convicted of second-degree theft and had been granted a deferral in 1985, he said.
Deputy Attorney General Joanne Ha'o opposed deferrals for both mother and daughter and asked for at least six months in jail for Tumbaga.
Tumbaga was charged with first-degree theft after she failed to report that her husband, Vincent Indreginal, was living with her during the periods charged in the complaint, state investigators said.
Mamala-Tumbaga was charged with two counts of second-degree theft. She qualified for public assistance for her and her two young children, whom she claimed were living with her when in fact they were living with other family members. She also failed to report that her then-boyfriend, Aki, was living with her, investigators said.
Applicants for public assistance must disclose the makeup of their household, who in the household works and their income.
Mother and daughter declined to address the court, but deputy public defender Michelle Agsalda urged the court to grant deferrals to both mother and daughter. Tumbaga had gone through difficult times even before her daughter's death, she said.