Local Connection: Indictment of Peter Boy Kema's Parents

Local Connection: Indictment of Peter Boy Kema's Parents

The disappearance and apparent death of Peter Boy Kema Junior 19 years ago has been an unhealed wound for our state.

His parents being indicted for murder gives us hope that this tragic story will end justly.

Big Island Prosecutor Mitch Roth made a gutsy move.  Charging a murder case with no body, no physical evidence and no witnesses.  He used the unusual legal theory – that because his parents knew Peter Boy was injured and they neglected him, his death was murder.

Many people will say it is better to prosecute with a weak case than not to prosecute at all.  But there is a risk. If they are acquitted, and new evidence emerges later, they cannot be prosecuted a second time.

No matter what happens, Peter Boy's story awakened our state to the horror of child abuse…and led to improvements in the system to protect children.  In that way…his death has saved lives.  He certainly deserves all we can do to bring him justice.

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