WAILUKU - A woman charged with fatally stabbing her boyfriend in their Kahului residence this year has been found mentally fit to stand trial.
In court Wednesday, attorneys agreed on 24-year-old Rachael Berta's fitness, based on reports from three psychiatrists or psychologists who examined her after her arrest Jan. 5.
She is charged with second-degree murder of 33-year-old John Shaniyo, who was found lying in blood at their residence on West Kauai Street. Police went to the home after receiving a 2 p.m. 911 call from a woman who said she had stabbed her boyfriend.
Shaniyo was taken by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center, where he died that night.
While noting that all three doctors determined that Berta was fit to proceed, 2nd Circuit Judge Joel August said the examiners had varying opinions about whether she was mentally impaired at the time of the offense.
According to court records, Berta was participating in a drug treatment program for people with mental health issues when the stabbing occurred.
An Aug. 17 trial was set for Berta, who is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center.
With Berta's mental state likely to be an issue, the trial is expected to last two weeks, said Deputy Prosecutor Melinda Mendes.
According to court records, Berta, who is also known as Rachael Kerry, was born in Virginia and has lived on Maui since 2006. She lived in Kihei before moving into the Kahului residence with Shaniyo about a year before the stabbing.
She has no recent history of employment and was convicted of drunken driving in October, according to court records.