Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022|
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Hawaii suspect pleads not guilty to 2nd degree murder
HONOLULU — The 21-year-old man accused of killing an Oahu woman has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder but court documents said he admitted choking the victim and led authorities to her body.
Suspect Kaniala Avilla-Rapoza had known the 19-year-old victim, Nelibeth Albert, for years, said Avilla Rapoza’s lawyer, Myles Breiner.
“They were very close to each other,” Breiner said.
Avilla-Rapoza and Albert were high school classmates and he told police he had been in a relationship with her for two months, the court documents said.
The documents also said Avilla-Rapoza appeared to become jealous after someone else expressed interest in Albert.
He told police the two met May 15 at Wahiawa Freshwater State Park, where he became angry and choked her, the documents said.
While his hands were around Albert’s neck, she told him “you won’t get to see me if you do this,” the documents said.
Avilla-Rapoza was arrested May 18, three days after Albert was reported missing.
He led police to the victim’s body, hidden under several branches that he said he had placed there, according to the documents.
Breiner said his client has autism and expressed concern that he is being held in a Hawaii Police Department cellblock and not at the Hawaii State Hospital, a forensic psychiatric facility.
Study: Hawaii lacks access to quality, affordable child care
HONOLULU — Child Care Aware of America has released a resource map that shows nearly half of Hawaii’s children under the age of 6 lack access to quality, affordable child care.
The state has a shortfall of more than 30,000 licensed child care slots.
Child Care Aware of America released an interactive map that offers an analysis of supply and demand, infant and toddler care, child care cost by region and policy recommendations.
Lynette Fraga, executive director of Child Care Aware of America, said the “deficits in quality child care slots should serve as a wake-up call to Hawaii’s policymakers and as a call to action for Hawaiian families.”
“To build more high-quality child care capacity, the state should increase its investment in training the child care workforce and building its Child Care Resource and Referral network,” Fraga said. “When child care providers have the support they need to be successful, they are able to ensure our children are successful as well.”
Average child care costs in Hawaii make up greater than 12 percent of the household median income, with single parents paying 45 percent of their income for infant care, and married parents with two kids living at the poverty line paying 79 percent of their income on center-based care, the Star-Advertiser reported.
In 2016, the average annual cost for an infant in center-based care was $8,112 for home-based care and $13,704 for center-based child care.
Married couples with an infant and 4-year-old in childcare paid $22,416 for center-based care and $16,284 for home-based care per year, the newspaper reported.
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