Teen mom to be held for mental evaluation
The 16-year-old was arrested in the fatal stabbing of her baby
KEALAKEKUA, Hawaii » A 16-year-old Kona girl, arrested for murder in the stabbing death of her 4-month-old son last week, can be transferred to the custody of the state Department of Health for continued mental evaluation, Big Island First Deputy Prosecutor Charlene Iboshi said.
Iboshi was describing the outcome of a "review hearing" for the teenager, accused of killing her son, Sebastian Kossak, by stabbing and cutting his neck with a kitchen knife, similar to a steak knife at the Kona home where the girl lived with her mother.
The review hearing was conducted by the Kona Family Court yesterday. Such a hearing takes place once a week for any minor held for a crime. It is intended to determine if the minor is being held in appropriate circumstances, Iboshi said.
There are many levels of evaluation, and the primary level is to determine that the teenager's mental status is stabilized, Iboshi said.
The girl is already on Oahu and was not present for yesterday's Family Court hearing, Iboshi said.
Although there has been consideration that the girl might be turned over to Circuit Court for trial as an adult, such an action, if it takes place, would be months away, Iboshi said.
Additional evaluations would be needed to determine whether the girl is competent to stand trial and can assist in her own defense, Iboshi said. A request from the Prosecutor's Office would then have to be heard by Family Court.
If the girl were to suffer from mental incapacity for an extended period, she could remain subject to the jurisdiction of Family Court as late as her 20th birthday, Iboshi said. If she arrived at that age and still had not been tried, jurisdiction would be transferred to Circuit Court, but she would not be subject to any automatic release because she was a minor at the time the killing took place, Iboshi said.