Baby’s fatal injuries
attributed to father

Darren Kawaa, 22, is accused in
the death of his infant daughter

By Leila Fujimori

Three-week-old Angel Saludares suffered massive head injuries that killed her almost immediately at a Pearl City apartment at the hands of her father, a deputy city prosecutor says.

"She was picked up -- she only weighed 7 pounds -- she was squeezed hard enough to fracture most of her ribs, and slammed onto a hard surface," Deputy Prosecutor Glenn Kim said.

"She (the medical examiner) will tell you this child was killed."

The trial for 22-year-old Darren Kawaa, also known as Darren Silva, charged with second-degree murder, began yesterday before a Circuit Court jury. He is accused of causing the death of his daughter April 15, 2000.

The baby's mother, Candice Saludares, now 17, said there was nothing seriously wrong with Angel when she went to sleep. Saludares awoke to find her baby pale, not breathing and not looking alive, she said.

Saludares said she did not know how the baby was injured and that she did not injure the baby.

According to a police affidavit, Kawaa told police on April 17, 2000, that he got up at 3:30 a.m. after Saludares had fallen asleep and tried feeding the baby. He took her into the living room, and when he returned, he hit the baby's head hard on the corner of their bedroom door and that she cried but fell asleep. He told police that he had squeezed her sides and placed her in her carrier a bit hard but did not think it caused her death.

Kawaa's attorney, Chester Kanai, said Kawaa's story was "total bogus." To end the police interrogation, "he just made it up," Kanai said.

Kanai said Kawaa was a loving, caring and kind father and gentle with the baby. He said the baby had not been well and that the couple had taken the baby to the hospital and called the ambulance on another occasion.

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