HILO — A tearful Jaylin Kema apologized to her family and community Tuesday, and a judge, despite expressed misgivings, sentenced her to 10 years probation for her role in the 1997 death of her son, Peter Kema Jr.
Acting Hilo Circuit Judge Henry Nakamoto also sentenced the 47-year-old woman to a year in jail, time she already has served on the manslaughter charge, for the death by septic shock of the chronically abused child known as “Peter Boy.”
In addition, Kema was ordered to make $16,687 in restitution in a separate theft case for illegally receiving public assistance.
Kema, who lost part of her left leg to diabetes, has appeared at some hearings in a wheelchair. On Tuesday, she was fitted with a prosthesis and walked in and out of the courtroom accompanied by a service dog. Kema agreed to testify against her husband, Peter Kema Sr., if his case went to trial. She told the judge she knows she deserved imprisonment for failing to seek medical help for her son, who was 6 when he died, and for not coming forward with the truth.
“For far too long, I’ve kept a secret of the abuse of my children, especially Peter Boy, and I kept the secret of how he died. I thank the prosecutor and the police for giving me the chance to tell the truth. My own problems in my everyday life is difficult, but nothing … compared to the pain that Peter Boy endured while I did nothing,” Jaylin Kema said.
Apologizing to her children, Allan, Chauntelle and Lina Acol, none of whom were present, Jaylin Kema acknowledged she caused them “to live in a nightmare” and “denied them a healthy…
click here to read more.