Child killer goes before parole board - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Child killer goes before parole board

Matthew Higa Matthew Higa
Randy Oyama Randy Oyama

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HALAWA (HawaiiNewsNow) - Wearing handcuffs and ankle shackles, convicted child killer Matthew Higa told the Hawaii Paroling Authority that he is not responsible for killing Cyrus Belt.

"There was a lady carrying a bag and she told me to throw it over the overpass," he said.

Higa said he was in a semi-conscious state after smoking crystal methamphetamine the day the toddler was killed.

"You just threw whatever it was over the bridge?" he was asked.

"Yes," Higa answered.

He was asked when he learned it was a baby that was tossed onto the H-1 freeway.

"When the cops started questioning me and then I put it together in my head what happened," he said.

Prosecutor Peter Carlisle wants Higa locked up for 200 years.

"There is no way to be certain that he will not return to crystal methamphetamine and that unacceptable levels of violence to other people will ensue," he said.

Belt was 23 months old when he was thrown off the Miller Street overpass in 2008.

A judge found Higa guilty of second-degree murder. The sentence carries life with the possibility of parole.

The parole board will set the minimum time he must serve.

Defense attorney Randy Oyama told the board Higa was a scapegoat and alleged Belt's mother's boyfriend is responsible for the child's death. He reiterated his argument that the toddler was dead when he was thrown from the overpass.

"Obviously, they (police) had a suspect as soon as this happened. They wanted it to fit him," he said.

Higa told the board he knew the child and feels sad about what happened but denied being the killer.

"I'm saying I didn't throw the baby over the bridge," Higa said.

Carlisle said Higa may not be a monster now but he committed a "monstrous act."

The Paroling Authority will make its decision in two weeks.

More about this story on HawaiiNewsNow.com:

Judge finds Higa guilty of murdering toddler, prosecutors want extended prison term

Prosecutors: toddler's murder is crime that 'deserves to live in infamy'

H-1 freeway shuts down as police investigate unthinkable murder

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