HILO, Hawaii – Jaylin Kema pleaded guilty to manslaughter today in connection with the 1997 death of her 6-year-old son, “Peter Boy” Kema.
Jaylin changed her not guilty plea in Hilo court on Thursday; she maintained her innocence earlier this year following her arrest and the arrest of her husband and Peter Boy’s father, Peter Kema Sr.
Now, months after media first reported she was beginning to cooperate with prosecutors, Kema admits her son died nearly two decades ago. The body of Peter Boy was never found.
It was stated in court that Jaylin recklessly caused the death of Peter Boy when she failed to seek proper medical care for an infected wound on her son’s arm, allegedly caused by abuse. The prosecutor in court told the judge Peter Boy probably died as a result of septic shock due to the injury, media reports say.
The admission ends speculation surrounding one of Hawaii’s highest-profile cold cases.
Peter Kema Sr. faces a second-degree murder charge in his son’s death. Jaylin is now expected to testify against her husband in his upcoming trial, set for April 2017.