Girl testifies seeing man beating her brother
Treshawn Kepa's sister said she heard slaps, pounding on the wall and her brother's screams coming from the bedroom. And when she looked in from the partially open door, she said, she saw her mother's boyfriend beating her 4-year-old brother.
"I saw Samita holding Treshawn down and punching him in the face," Taleena Kepa-Yin, Treshawn's 11-year-old sister, said yesterday in Honolulu District Court during a preliminary hearing for Samita Hall.
Hall, 28, is charged with first-degree assault for allegedly beating his girlfriend's son last week Tuesday in their Kapahulu apartment. At the end of the hearing, Judge Russel Nagata sent the case to state Circuit Court for trial. Hall remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Treshawn was taken by ambulance to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, where he was fitted with a respirator because he kept slipping in and out of consciousness, said Dr. Victoria Schneider, a pediatrician at the hospital.
She said Treshawn could not breathe on his own when he lost consciousness because he suffered brain trauma. He also had bruises on the left side of his face, head and neck, above both eyes, tears to both eyelids and cuts inside his lip and mouth, Schneider said.
Taleena said Hall beat Treshawn after their youngest bother, 1-year-old Travis Kepa, was scratched when some toys fell on him. Travis is Hall's only child among his girlfriend Tina Marie Kepa's five children.
When asked to describe the length of the scratch on Travis's stomach, Taleena said, "It was just a little scratch," and held her thumb and forefinger less than a centimeter apart.
The children were hanging clothes outside the apartment when Travis reached for a toy from a toy basket and the basket fell on him, Taleena said. Travis cried, then went inside the apartment to Hall's bedroom, she said.
Hall called the children inside the apartment and asked them who scratched Travis, Taleena said. Treshawn did not go into the apartment right away because he didn't hear Hall calling them, she said. When Hall asked Treshawn if he scratched his brother, Treshawn said yes even though he didn't do it because he was scared, Taleena said.
She said Hall then sent all the children out of the bedroom except Treshawn. She said she then heard Hall yell at Treshawn along with the slaps, pounding and screams. She said Treshawn stopped crying after Hall told him to shut up or he would hit him more.
In March 1999, Hall was charged with attempted murder for shaking his 6-week-old son from another woman. The infant suffered brain injury. Hall pleaded no contest to second-degree assault the following year and was sentenced to one year in prison.