Chief prosecutor: No comment on whether additional charges will be filed against Lynn Fitial, Stacey Laniyo

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CHIEF Prosecutor John Bradley has declined to say whether additional charges will be filed against the two women who were arrested following the death of a 3-year-old boy under their care.

“That's not something I can discuss at this point,” Bradley said.

The  boy’s mother, Lynn Fitial, 44, and her relative, Stacey Lani Laniyo, 37 have been charged with child abuse or neglect.

According to the Commonwealth Code, a person convicted of child abuse may be punished by imprisonment of not more than five years, a fine of not more than $2,000, or both; however, the court may, upon conviction, order that the person be provided with appropriate counseling to cure, alleviate or prevent psychological problems that are judged to be related to the child abuse incident

Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo issued the arrest warrant for the two women and imposed a $25,000 cash bail.

Department of Public Safety Detective Rosa Taman Rios, in her affidavit, stated that the injuries on the boy were consistent with abuse.

Rios said she also received information from other family members indicating a pattern of abuse.

In an interview with the police, Laniyo described the boy as a child without fear and was “very naughty.”

Laniyo told police that she had recently spanked him with a tree branch to “discipline him because he was naughty.”

According to Dr. Philip Dauterman, the cause of death was obstruction of the airway due to pharyngitis and tracheitis, contributed by peritonitis due to gastroenteritis.

Dauterman said the child’s illness was either caused by a bacterial or a viral infection and was so far advanced at the time he was brought to the Emergency Room of the hospital.

He said the child was effectively dead when brought to the ER.

Dauterman also said that the boy’s symptoms would have been obvious to any reasonable parent or guardian and a cause for concern.

He noted that the boy’s stomach was empty. “This means the boy was either vomiting, not eating, or both. [This] would be readily apparent to any parent,” he said.

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