Defendant to switch plea in girl’s abuse
HILO » Big Island resident Hyacinth Poouahi is expected to admit some guilt today in Circuit Court in a 2005 case in which a 10-year-old girl under her care suffered multiple injuries, including rotting flesh.
A change of plea was listed on the court calendar, but there was no description of the charge or charges involved.
Poouahi, 40, has pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, endangering a minor, assault, kidnapping and terroristic threatening.
Through her lawyer, Keith Shigetomi, she proposed last year pleading guilty to assault if Deputy Prosecutor Rick Damerville would drop the attempted-murder charge. Damerville refused.
After calling county paramedics to provide aid on Feb. 7, 2005, Poouahi told the Star-Bulletin she just tried to love the girl, essentially abandoned by her real mother.
But paramedics found a large cut on the girl's head that appeared to have fly eggs in it.
Three-quarters of an inch of her upper lip was missing, and the wound was described as decaying, giving off a rotting smell.
She had several injuries from her head to her feet, including broken bones, according to police.
The girl was in a coma at Kapiolani Medical Center for six weeks and has been slowly recovering since then.
Poouahi reported hearing voices last year tell her to swear at the judge in the case and to kill herself. A panel of three psychological experts eventually determined she was fit to stand trial.