On Wednesday, December 28, a Hawaii man, Steven Capobianco, was found guilty by a Maui jury of murdering his missing ex-girlfriend, Carly “Charli” Scott, on February 9, 2014. The deliberation took 28 days. Capobianco’s ex-girlfriend was approximately 5 months pregnant with his child, a son, when he killed her.
Hawaii News Now reported that, as the verdict was read on Wednesday, Charli’s mother, Kimberlyn Scott, broke down and cried. She said, “I’m allowing myself to be glad for the first time in three years and breathe because we aren’t walking around with this over us.”
The same jury that convicted Capobianco of second-degree murder on Wednesday, according to Tulsa World, after already having listened to “about six months of testimony,” will now have to return to the courtroom on Thursday to determine if the crime was especially heinous. The words “especially heinous” will be important for the jury to consider as they decide on the sentence that Capobianco will receive.
The indictment against Capobianco said he committed the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend “in an especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel manner.” On Thursday, the jury will hear arguments presented by Maui County Prosecuting Attorney John Kim and the defense’s attorney and will decide for themselves if Capobianco committed a murder that was especially heinous. If the jury decides that the murder of Carly “Charli” Scott was done by Capobianco in an especially heinous manner, he could receive a more enhanced sentence, which would be life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The murder trial against Capobianco began in June, and the Maui jury began deliberations on December 1. Police were not able to recover the complete remains of Capobianco’s pregnant ex-girlfriend. Instead, they were only able to locate some of her body parts and articles of bloody clothing.
The couple first met in 2009 and seemed to hit it off. They went on to fall in love, but it did not last. Capobianco began to consider her as just a friend. However, they continued to have sex. Scott ended up getting pregnant with Capobianco’s son, much to his displeasure. Robert Rivera with the Maui Deputy Prosecuting Attorney said the ex-boyfriend insisted that she have an abortion.
It is believed that the Scott was stabbed to death. In an area off the Hana Highway, investigators discovered the missing woman’s jawbone, hair, fingertips, and clothing. Capobianco allegedly set Scott’s car on fire after he murdered her, possibly in an effort to destroy any evidence. He was also charged and found guilty of committing arson.
Jon Apo, Capobianco’s defense attorney, was critical that other suspects were not considered. He reportedly made a statement to the jury, saying that detectives, the dead woman’s family and even Capobianco’s friends presumed that he was guilty of Scott’s murder without so much as even giving consideration to other suspects. Capobianco did not take the stand to testify during the lengthy trial.
After the verdict was read, Maui County Prosecuting Attorney John Kim did not comment. Until the jurors are done with the second phase of deliberations, he is maintaining a stoic silence on the matter.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Hawaii Department of Public Safety