Hawaii mother gets probation for role in starving daughter

HILO (AP) — A Hawaii mother whose daughter starved to death in 2016 was sentenced to 10 years in probation.

A judge on Monday sentenced Tiffany Stone, 37, for her role in starving Shaelynn Lehano-Stone to death, Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

Stone, who pleaded no contest to manslaughter in December, won’t serve additional jail time beyond the nearly four-and-a-half years in custody.

Kevin Lehano, Stone’s 53-year-old husband, and Henrietta Stone, Stone’s 63-year-old mother, are charged with second-degree murder in the child’s. They have pleaded not guilty and remain in custody on $100,000 bail each.

Lehano was found fit to stand trial. Henrietta Stone is undergoing a court-ordered mental examination and has a hearing scheduled next month.

Henrietta Stone was the girl’s legal guardian and had pulled her out of Hilo Union Elementary School to be home-schooled, the newspaper reported.

After a 911 call, police found her at Stone’s apartment unconscious on June 28, 2016. She died later that day.

Tiffany Stone takes no responsibility for her daughter’s death and did nothing to help her, Deputy Prosecutor Suzanna Tiapula said, asking the judge to sentence her to 20 years in prison.

“The defendant watched while her daughter starved,” Tiapula said. “She didn’t feed her child in a house with three refrigerators, all of which had food in them.”

“And on the day her daughter lay down, never to get up again, this defendant saw her daughter lying on the floor in her own filth — and walked away.”

Tiffany Stone declined to speak in court. She didn’t intend for her daughter to die, said her attorney, Melody Parker.

“She is here because she attended a Family Court hearing where the judge gave the child to the maternal grandmother and advised that she stays there until grandma dies or (the child) turns 18,” Parker said.

Her inaction contributed to her daughter’s death, Hilo Circuit Judge Henry Nadamoto said.

“I understand the legality of how the Family Court process works and understand that you did not have control over a lot of the things that went on,” he said. “But you did have control of whether or not or how aggressively you called for help.”