Child abuser faces new charges
Samita Hall, 28, allegedly beat a 4-year-old into a coma
A man convicted of second-degree assault for shaking his 6-week-old son six years ago, causing severe brain damage, is now accused of beating his girlfriend's 4-year-old son.
Samita Hall, 28, was charged yesterday with first-degree assault against the boy, and third-degree assault against the boy's uncle.
Hall is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail and is expected to appear in Honolulu District Court today.
The 4-year-old is currently in a medically induced coma at Kapiolani Medical Center, where he was taken Tuesday, lapsing in and out of consciousness. Police were told he stopped breathing upon arrival at the hospital because of his head injuries.
Officers were called to an apartment at 3109 Herbert St. on Tuesday, where two males reported their nephew had been abused by his mother's boyfriend and that the boy needed help.
The officer entered the home and saw the boy lying in a bedroom incoherent, falling in an out of consciousness and his eyes rolling back. Police said he had swelling and redness on both sides of his face and on his neck and forehead.
The officer called for an ambulance and tried to keep the boy awake, but he kept drifting off, according to an affidavit.
The boy's older sister told police that she had witnessed Hall punching her brother in the head and that she also heard slapping, pounding on the wall and the boy screaming, "Stop."
Another sibling at home at the time also heard slapping sounds, pounding on the wall and his brother screaming, crying and gasping. The only other person in the room at the time with the boy was Hall, they said.
They later saw their brother had bruises and redness to his face and neck, injuries that he did not have before he entered the room alone with Hall, they told police.
Another male also present at the home corroborated the siblings' observations. He was using a computer in the home when he heard three to four slaps, thumping noises, followed by screams from the 4-year-old boy.
The boy had been in a playful mood before the incident with Hall. But afterward, he said, the child was not his normal self. He said the boy was "zoning in an out of consciousness and almost falling asleep."
Hall and the boy's mother, Tina Marie Kepa, apparently have been together for about two years and have a 1-year-old infant together.
In March 1999, Hall was accused of attempted second-degree murder for shaking his 6-week-old baby from his then-girlfriend.
A jury acquitted him in June 2000 on the attempted-murder charge, and a mistrial was declared on lesser offenses of first- and second-degree assault.
In October of that year, he pleaded no contest under a plea agreement to second-degree assault and was sentenced to five years' probation with one year in jail. Because he had already served 16 months in pretrial confinement, he did not have to serve any additional jail time. His public defender noted at the time that Child Protective Services had ordered him to attend parenting classes.
Court records indicate Kepa applied for a restraining order against Hall in September 2003. The temporary order was good until Dec. 16, 2003, when it was dissolved by court order.
Details of why she sought the order were not available.
A day after Hall's arrest on Tuesday, William Kepa, an uncle of the 4-year-old, obtained a temporary restraining order against Hall for alleged harassment. A hearing on the matter is set for Jan. 30.