Lead detective in toddler murder case grilled on witness stand - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lead detective in toddler murder case grilled on witness stand

Det. Kenneth Higa Det. Kenneth Higa

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email 

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The lead investigator in the death of an Oahu toddler, who was thrown onto the H-1 Freeway two years ago, spent hours on the witness stand at Matthew Higa's murder trial Tuesday.

Prosecutors say the defendant was high on crystal methamphetamine when he hurled 23-month-old Cyrus Belt off a pedestrian walkway to his death three stories down. The defense argues that the boy, who was wearing a T-shirt and a diaper, was already dead when Higa carried him to the overpass.

Homicide detective Kenneth Higa says the defendant confessed after being read his Miranda rights.

But defense attorney Randy Oyama questioned the thoroughness of the investigation, saying the toddler's mother's boyfriend gave inconsistent statements to police, and that witnesses thought it was a lifeless doll being tossed onto the freeway.

"You should have turned it over to the medical examiner, shouldn't you?" Randy Oyama, defense attorney asked.

"Yes," Det. Kenneth Higa, Honolulu Police Department, replied.

"Just like the toy doll statement, wouldn't you agree for the same reason?" Oyama asked.

"Yes," Det. Higa replied.

"And that clearly wasn't done, correct?" Oyama continued.

"Yes," the detective replied. "She could draw her own conclusions (about the cause of death) without me telling her those things."

"She's going to draw her conclusions based on incomplete facts, wouldn't you agree?" the defense attorney asked.

"No," the detective replied.

The dead toddler's mother and her boyfriend are expected to testify Thursday.

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