20 years in Big Island toddler's abuse death

Published On: Sep 26 2012 09:04:00 AM HST
Marley Makanani

Marley Makanani

HILO, Hawaii -

A judge has sentenced a Big Island man to 20 years in prison for the death of a 3-year-old girl.

Ezekiel Wakinekona was sentenced Tuesday for manslaughter and domestic abuse. He pleaded guilty in June to manslaughter in Marley Makanani's death and abuse of her two sisters.

An autopsy found the toddler died of near drowning and traumatic head injury due to abuse.

Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports Marley's mother said in court she doesn't hate Wakinekona and that he was like her big brother.  Tasha Nihau-Lindsey is the cousin of Wakinekona's wife.

His wife Kahealani Wakinekona testified previously that he had been giving Marley a bath and left, then returned to find her partially submerged and making gurgling sounds.

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