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Prosecutors seek extended prison term for fatal hit-and-run in Hilo

A 25-year-old woman involved in a fatal hit-and-run in Hilo over the weekend allegedly had a blood alcohol concentration more than three times the legal limit, according to the prosecuting attorney’s office.

Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Kelden Waltjen today said Sienna Tavares-Brown faces multiple charges after allegedly hitting a pedestrian Saturday while driving an SUV on Kawili Street in Hilo, and leaving the scene without rendering aid.

The pedestrian, identified by police as Eric Mabuni, 57, of Hilo, was flown to The Queen’s Medical Center, where he later died.

Tavares-Brown of Puna has been charged with first-degree negligent homicide, operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant, accidents involving death or serious bodily injury, accidents involving damage to vehicle or property, and operating a vehicle after license and privilege have been suspended or revoked for OVUII.

Due to two related juveniles in the SUV, she was also charged with second-degree reckless endangering, and failure to use proper child passenger restraints.

First-degree negligent homicide is a class A felony offense that carries a penalty of a 20-year prison term.

Prosecutors, however, said they intend to seek an extended term of imprisonment under “Kaulana’s law.”

The law, named after Kaulana Werner who was struck and killed by a drunk driver in a 2016 Nanakuli hit-and-run, authorizes the court to impose an extended term of imprisonment for an offender who is convicted of first-degree negligent homicide and did not remain at the scene and render aid.

An extended term of imprisonment for a class A felony is life in prison.

The charges are allegations, the prosecutor said, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Tavares-Brown made her initial appearance in Hilo District Court on Tuesday. Her bail remains at $158,000. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.

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