Wednesday, February 10, 1999

Mother admits
using ‘ice,’ hitting
son Reubyne

Kimberly Pada is on trial for
attempted murder of her son

By Debra Barayuga


A Kailua mother on trial for attempted murder for allegedly abusing her 4-year-old boy admitted to striking his bare penis with a slipper because he had diarrhea and kept soiling his pants.

"I was angry 'cause of all the doo-doo I had to clean up," said Kimberly Pada, who also admitted she had smoked "ice," or crystal methamphetamine, earlier in the day.

She also admitted to smoking "ice" two days later, when she allegedly struck her son with a closed fist several times throughout the day.

Pada's admissions are contained in a two-hour video- and audiotaped statement she gave police detectives a day after son Reubyne Buentipo Jr. was rushed unconscious to Castle Hospital on Aug. 31, 1997.

Jurors today were to view Pada's statement, also contained in a 1-inch-thick transcript that is part of case files that Circuit Judge John Lim unsealed before trial began last week, saying there no longer was a compelling reason to keep them closed.

The interview with police detectives Jack Snyder and Woletta Kim hints at how and why the boy sustained certain injuries and what he suffered throughout the day before losing consciousness that evening.

Prosecutors maintain that the boy suffered from a pattern of abuse at the hands of his mother.

Doctors who examined Reubyne Jr. found numerous injuries, including cuts and bruises all over his body, what appeared to be cigarette burns and a severely burned left foot that appeared to have been immersed in hot liquid, exposing and damaging the nerves. The boy also sustained permanent brain injuries that doctors say are consistent with shaken baby syndrome.

The defense has raised questions about the medical treatment the boy received at the Castle Hospital emergency room as a possible factor that caused bleeding to the boy's brain.

Reubyne Jr. never regained consciousness. He is now in a vegetative state at a convalescent home.

In her statement, Pada gave conflicting versions about the sequence of events and the injuries her son suffered on Aug. 31, 1997, and in previous incidents.

She attributed some of Reubyne Jr.'s injuries to his clumsiness, playing, roughhousing by his three siblings, and herself.

Pada, however, admitted to striking Reubyne Jr., the third of her four children, with a closed fist about 10 times throughout Aug. 31, 1997. The last blow came in the afternoon with a closed fist to the back, causing him to fall and black out.

Early in her statement, she had said the boy had tripped over a cable wire earlier in the day after getting out of the shower, hitting his head and knocking him unconscious. Pada said she had revived him by blowing into his mouth and then making him blow into an asthma machine.

Later that evening, Reubyne Jr. apparently complained he was tired and cold. Pada said her 5-year-old daughter tried to warm him with a blow dryer, causing a severe burn on his left foot.

Pada said she didn't hit her three other children like she did Reubyne Jr. She acknowledged that the abuse she inflicted on Reubyne Jr. may have intensified when the boy's father, who had been in jail, called her, asking for his son. She said the boy's father had abused and raped her.

"It's like when I look at him, I see the father," she said.

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