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Bail set at $1M for man, $300K for woman facing attempted murder of infant

ROSETE

The Maui News

WAILUKU — Bail was set at $1 million for a man and $300,000 for a woman charged with attempted murder of her infant son, who was hospitalized after suffering bleeding in his brain, extreme malnutrition and other injuries that a doctor believed were caused by “abusive trauma.”

Christian Rosete, 27, of Wailea and Passion Quirk, 23, of Kahului have pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault of the child.

Rosete also has pleaded not guilty to felony abuse of the boy by impeding his breathing.

Quirk has pleaded not guilty to first-degree endangering the welfare of a minor.

QUIRK

She was charged along with Rosete based on her failure to get medical attention for her son, Deputy Prosecutor Elizabeth Nardi said during Quirk’s bail hearing Monday.

Quirk told police she and Rosete had been dating since November and were living in his car and staying in a carport at his mother’s residence in Wailea.

According to a memorandum filed by Nardi, Quirk told police about three times that Rosete abused her son on April 28. The couple had been arguing when Rosete became angry that the infant was crying, grabbed him under his arms and threw him on a chair, Quirk told police. She said the baby hit the armrest of the chair head first.

The same day, she told police, she had stepped away before returning to the carport area and saw Rosete holding up the child by his neck with one hand. Later, she said, she had left the baby lying on a futon in the carport and returned to find him face down on the concrete floor with Rosete sitting next to the infant. When Quirk asked why her son was on the ground, Rosete said, “I’m sorry” and started crying, she told police.

She also described how Rosete gave “body shots” or punches to the baby, starting in February or March, so he would “toughen up,” according to the memorandum.

Quirk told police she didn’t report Rosete’s abuse of the infant because she was afraid of him. Rosete has been charged with two counts of abusing Quirk in April.

On the afternoon of April 30, Quirk and her grandmother were at a Kahului restaurant when a server offered to call 911 because Quirk’s baby was turning blue and had bruises on his face.

Quirk at first refused, saying it was “too expensive,” according to the memorandum. Quirk said she would drive her 11-month-old son to the hospital and refused a second offer to call an ambulance before the server followed Quirk to the parking lot. When the server noticed the baby’s eyes were closed and asked for a third time to call an ambulance, Quirk agreed, according to the memorandum.

“But for the courage and wherewithal of a community member to speak up and say, ‘Something is not right, this child needs medical attention now,’ this very likely would have resulted in a murder,” Nardi said.

In asking for bail to remain at $1 million for Quirk, Nardi said the defendant “engaged in a relationship with someone that she knew had a history of violence against his own mother, against his own child, yet continued to be in that relationship and subject her son to the incidents we know about.”

Quirk, who appeared by videoconference from the Maui Community Correctional Center for the hearing, asked to be released from jail on supervision.

“I have no opportunity to prove that I’m going to be a good mom to my son from in here,” she said. “Yeah, I acted wrong and everything. I’m just trying to get my son back, and I can’t do do that from in here. I have a good place I’d be able to stay and see my son every day and do the things I’m supposed to.”

Her attorney, Jacob Delaplane, appearing by videoconference from Oahu, said Quirk has no criminal record and she denied having a drug problem.

“There’s zero indication she posed any kind of threat to anyone,” he said. “The state alleged she failed to show some baseline acumen as a mother.”

He said Quirk had “issues relating to her own abuse and how that abuse affected her ability to care for her child.”

She wouldn’t be a danger to the community or her child, who is in foster care, Delaplane said. He said Quirk, a lifelong Maui resident, wasn’t working and “doesn’t have means to flee.”

Second Circuit Judge Richard Bissen set bail at $300,000.

He kept bail at $1 million for Rosete, noting that the defense wasn’t asking for a reduced amount while the prosecution sought to have Rosete held without bail.

Bissen said that unlike Quirk, Rosete has a prior record and is on probation for a crime of violence.

“The fact that he’s lived here his whole life doesn’t mean he can’t be a danger to everybody that lives here alongside him,” Bissen said.

In asking that bail not be increased, Deputy Public Defender Tyler Stevenson said bail already was “extraordinarily high” for Rosete, who wasn’t employed and was receiving government assistance.

Nardi said Rosete is on probation for abuse for punching his mother in the face, breaking her orbital bone, in a 2019 case. That occurred after she confronted him about his mistreatment of his 3-year-old son, Nardi said.

Rosete was arrested for allegedly violating requirements of his probation by not reporting to his probation officer and abusing drugs, including methamphetamine and cocaine, according to the memorandum.

“The conduct in that case does nothing but further the state’s concern that this is someone who poses a great danger to the community, that this is someone who has severe anger issues,” Nardi said. “There are certain cases, extraordinary cases, where the conduct exhibited by the defendant does rise to a setting of no bail.”

After being taken by ambulance to Maui Memorial Medical Center, the infant was transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit at Kapiolani Medical Center on Oahu. There, a physician described injuries including bruising on his eyelids, earlobes and left cheek, scrape marks on his back and two healed bite marks on his left arm, according to the memorandum. The infant also had a healed burn scar on the back of his left thigh, a crack in his left wrist, intra-retinal bleeding in both eyes, mild retinal detachment in his right eye and a subdural hemorrhage into his left and right brain.

The baby “was extremely malnourished,” having the weight of a 4-month old, according to the memorandum.

In the opinion of the child’s treating physician, “the injuries were a direct result of abusive trauma, extreme malnutrition, medical neglect, blunt trauma to the head and face, shaking injury and blunt force trauma to the body and left arm.”

The boy was discharged from the hospital May 20 and will continue to receive physical and occupational therapy, according to the memorandum.

Jacob Delaplane, appearing by video from Oahu, said “insanely high amount of bail”.

Both are being held at the Maui Community Correctional Center.

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