Hearing today for suspect in child's death


A 37-year-old Waimea man accused of killing a 3-year-old niece and abusing two others is scheduled for a preliminary hearing today in Waimea District Court.

The 1 p.m. hearing will determine if there is sufficient evidence to order Ezekiel Wakinekona to stand trial.

Fire Rescue personnel responded Friday night to a report that a girl was unconscious with labored breathing. Wakinekona was arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse after doctors told police that the girl, Marley Makanani, had suspicious bruises on her body. Makanani was flown to a Honolulu hospital, where she died Sunday night. Her two sisters, ages 2 and 6, were taken into protective custody.

"Marley's siblings remain in foster care and Child Welfare Services is working with the family to identify other relatives and kin as placement options," Department of Human Services spokeswoman Kayla Rosenfeld said Wednesday night. "While the children are in foster care, visits are being arranged for the children to visit with their family."

Wakinekona was charged with manslaughter in the death and two counts of domestic abuse for injuries on the other two girls.

He remained in custody Wednesday evening at Hawaii Community Correctional Center in lieu of $60,000 bail.