- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - The trial for a Hawaii mother charged with murder in the death of her son who has been missing for nearly 20 years has been postponed until 2017.

A Hilo Circuit Court judge granted Jaylin Kema’s request Monday to delay her trial until Jan. 30. The trial for the 1997 death of 6-year-old Peter Kema Jr., known as “Peter Boy,” had initially been scheduled to start next month, The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported (https://bit.ly/29SZAXc).

Both Kema and her husband, Peter Kema Sr., have pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in their son’s death. His trial is scheduled for Sept. 19, but is also expected to be delayed.

The boy’s parents had long been suspects in his disappearance before prosecutors said they finally had enough evidence to charge them in April.

Peter Kema Sr. had told authorities he took the child to Oahu and gave him to an “Aunty Rose Makuakane” in an informal adoption. Police could not find a woman as described by Kema or airline records indicating he had flown there from the Big Island.

Jaylin Kema, who appeared in court Monday, also had a separate trial for second-degree theft in a welfare fraud case pushed back until Jan. 23. Prosecutors say the alleged theft from May 2010 to July 2015 was uncovered because of the investigation into the boy’s death. The trial had been set to start this week.

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Information from: Hawaii Tribune-Herald, https://www.hawaiitribune-herald.com/

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