Accused killer Higa could face life term without parole
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Accused baby killer Matthew Higa is a longtime admitted "ice" addict with possible mental health issues and a danger to the public.
That is what Deputy Prosecutor Rom Trader told a state judge yesterday after an Oahu grand jury returned an indictment charging Higa, 23, with second-degree murder.
Higa is accused of causing the death of 23-month-old Cyrus Belt by throwing the toddler off a pedestrian overpass onto the H-1 freeway on Jan. 17.
"His utter and complete disregard for the life of this child makes him an unacceptable and horrendous danger to the public," Trader said.
Circuit Judge Derrick Chan confirmed Higa's bail yesterday at $1 million.
Higa has been in custody since his arrest Jan. 17.
The mandatory sentence for second-degree murder is life in prison with the possibility for parole. However, because Belt was under 8, the indictment states that Higa is eligible for an enhanced sentence of life in prison without the possibility for parole.
"(Yesterday's) indictment signals the first step by which we will be doing everything we possibly can to ensure that Cyrus Belt's death was not in vain. And we will do everything possible to hold Mr. Higa accountable," Trader said.
Higa's attorney could not be reached for comment.