Plea deal in child starvation case?

  • JOHN BURNETT/Tribune-Herald Kevin Lehano appears Monday with attorney Sherilyn Tavares in Hilo Circuit Court.

The father of a 9-year-old Hilo girl police say was starved to death more than three years ago appears to be negotiating a plea deal.

Deputy Public Defender Sherilyn Tavares on Monday told Hilo Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura the office is working on behalf of 51-year-old Kevin Paul Lehano for “a potential resolution in this matter” and asked for a 60-day postponement in Lehano’s case.


Nakamura granted the request and ordered Lehano, who does not have a trial date, to return to court at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 18.

Lehano, Tiffany Stone, the victim’s 35-year-old mother, and Henrietta Stone, the girl’s 61-year-old grandmother, are all charged with attempted second-degree murder in the death of Shaelynn Lehano-Stone. Henrietta Stone was the girl’s legal guardian.

Police and emergency medical personnel were summoned June 28, 2016, to a Kinoole Street apartment almost directly across from Hilo’s central fire station. They reportedly found Lehano-Stone unconscious and severely malnourished. The girl was taken to Hilo Medical Center, where she died a few hours later.

Lehano-Stone, whom court documents state was developmentally disabled, had been removed from Hilo Union Elementary School to be home-schooled. The indictments state she was denied adequate food, water and medical care from “on or about Oct. 23, 2015,” until her death.

Tiffany Stone has a hearing at 9:30 a.m. Friday before Hilo Circuit Judge Henry Nakamoto, as a panel of three mental health professionals are determining her fitness to proceed with trial and if she understood the wrongfulness of her alleged actions.

Henrietta Stone also is facing a battery of mental examiners and has an Aug. 2 hearing before Nakamoto.


All three remain in custody at Hawaii Community Correctional Center.

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