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Capobianco’s Ex-Girlfriend Asked “Did You Do This?”

August 7, 2016, 3:29 PM HST · Updated August 8, 2:45 PM
Wendy Osher · 9 Comments
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Cassandra Kupstas. Photo 8.5.16 by Wendy Osher.

Cassandra Kupstas. Photo 8.5.16 by Wendy Osher.

The murder trial of Steven Capobianco continued with testimony from Cassandra Kupstas, an ex-girlfriend of the defendant who was dating him at the time Carly “Charli” Scott went missing.

Capobianco is accused of killing Scott and setting her vehicle on fire in February of 2014.  He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“Love at First Sight”

Kupstas agreed that in terms of her initial interaction with Capobianco that she believed it was “love at first sight,” but that today, she doesn’t believe “any impressions of him” and testified on Friday that she believes he is a “liar.”

When the two had met in October of 2013, Kupstas already had plans to move back to Pennsylvania.  “I didn’t realize it when we first met, but we only had three weeks to hang out,” Capobianco told police in a Feb. 12, 2014 interview.

“We ended up loving each other so much that we’d been talking every day on the phone, sometimes twice a day, even though she’s like four, almost five thousand miles away.  She decided to move back to be with me and the decision was made pretty close to right after she left,” Capobianco told police.

Scott was last seen on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, nine days before Kupstas was scheduled to arrive back on Maui on Feb. 18, 2014.

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Kupstas: Didn’t Want Capobianco to be a ‘Deadbeat Dad’

Kupstas said she learned that Capobianco had gotten Charli Scott pregnant via communication that took place in early January of 2014.

Prosecuting attorney Robert Rivera asked Kupstas if the defendant thought the baby was his, to which she replied:  “He asked to take a paternity test, but she didn’t want to do it, so he had doubts that it was his. He said she kind of freaked out when he asked about getting the test. He said ‘this child of mine’ in quotations. He had doubts that it was his child,” said Kupstas.

The prosecution also referenced previous testimony in which Kupstas had said she did not want him to be a “deadbeat dad.” When asked to explain, Kupstas said, “I wanted him to be there for his child.”

Cross Exam: “I Don’t Believe Any Impressions of Him”

On cross exam, Kupstas said her response initially was that if the baby was going to be Capobianco’s they would “need to take care of it.”  “Did you pressured Steven to be a part of the baby’s life?” defense attorney Jon Apo asked, to which Kupstas said, “Yes.”

Kupstas agreed with the defense’s description of her reaction that she was initially, “blown away,” and that she would, “handle it day by day.”  She also said that initially she had reservations about being a stepmother.

When asked if it was her impression at first that was Capobianco was scared about the baby, Kupstas replied, “Freaked out, yes.”

“Ultimately, as time went by, it looked like it was rubbing off on him?” Apo asked.  “You could say that, I have said that,” Kupstas replied.

When asked if that was her impression from Capobianco,” Kupstas replied, “I don’t believe any impressions of him.”  The defense followed up asking if she was testifying that her impression of him ‘is that he is a liar,’ to which she responded, “Yes.”

“What indications did you have that Steven was coming around to being a father?” Apo asked.  “Other than what he told me, nothing,” said Kupstas.  “Weren’t you encouraging him to become a father?” Apo asked, to which Kupstas replied, “Of course.”

“At some point would it be fair to say that after being informed about the baby, Steven expressed that he didn’t want anything to come between you and him?” Apo asked, and Kupstas responded, “Yes.”

Apo asked if she recalled the defendant saying That he wouldn’t let “something so simple” come in between them, to which Kupstas responded, “I don’t remember saying ‘so simple’… I was in love with him, well I thought I was. And I wanted to work it out,” she said.

“You’re the Only Woman for Me”

Kupstas recalled a text communication with Capobianco relating to his feelings toward Charli.

“He didn’t have feelings for Charli; He never had feelings for her at all and did not have feelings for her when he got her pregnant,” Kupstas said about the text she had received.  “She was just an easy lay,” according to Kupstas’ account of what Capobianco had texted her.

In a subsequent text in February after Scott had gone missing, Kupstas recalled receiving another text from Capobianco that said, “You’re the only woman for me Cassie.”

Timeline Leading Up to Charli’s Disappearance

Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014:

Kupstas testified that toward the evening hours on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, the defendant had told her he was going to go to work on a friend’s truck.  In addition to working on a friend’s truck, Kupstas said she wrote down a timeline of her Skype sessions with Capobianco, and found an entry that indicated he had gone to a party after.  “He returned from the party at around 11 p.m. his time (Hawaiʻi time),” said Kupstas who was living in Pennsylvania at the time.

During earlier testimony, Capobianco had told police that he had gone driving out to Keʻanae late that night at around 11 p.m. because he couldn’t sleep and wanted to listen to the sound system in his truck.  He told police that the vehicle died on the way out, about 3.2 miles past Keʻanae.

Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014:

On Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, Kupstas said she spoke with Capobianco before and after he went to work and agreed with questioning that his demeanor “appeared to be normal.”  Kupstas testified that the one curious thing the latter Skype conversation was that she questioned why Capobianco was taking a shower when he said he was going to fix a car.

Kupstas Awoken by Skype Call: Defendant Shows Her His Hands

Kupstas testified that she was awoken in the early morning hours on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, at 2:30 a.m. Hawaii time (7:30 a.m. in Pennsylvania) by a Skype call from Capobianco on her iPad.  She described him as being “all wound up,” “out of sorts,” and “tired.”

During the conversation, Capobianco was shirtless and showed Kupstas his hands.  “Steven said he squished one hand in the hood and the other was injured in a battery terminal,” Kupstas recalled.

During cross exam, Kupstas was asked to explain what she meant in an interview with police on March 3, 2014, in which she had mentioned the word “scarring” to describe the injuries.  She clarified in court on Friday saying, “They were so bad that they were going to scar.”

Relative to the injuries, defense attorney Jon Apo said, “Correct me if I’m wrong, your testimony was when you observed the injures on Feb. 10 (2014) you thought it was a thumb of Steven’s that was injured, but by the time you testified here in trial, you were pointing to a pinkie?”  Kupstas agreed.

Kupstas said that the next day, on Friday, Feb.11, 2014, she was Skyping with Capobianco in the morning, when police came to his house and he hung up to talk to police.

Apo referenced the interview again saying, asking Kupstas if she told police things that she “didn’t really know,” to which Kupstas responded saying, “If I said that, I didn’t want to put someone behind bars that wasn’t guilty.”

Asked Multiple Times: “Did You Do This?”

The prosecution asked Kupstas, “Did you ever ask if he (Capobianco) did this?” to which she replied, “I asked him multiple times.”

“And what was his response,” prosecutors asked.  “He said no, with no emotion. There was no explanation, it was just no,” said Kupstas.

Trust is Everything: “I Deserve Better.”

“When did you find out the defendant was lying to you?” prosecutor Robert Rivera asked, “And what was the lie?”

“About where he was that night,” Kupstas replied.  “I found that out two days after she went missing maybe… The lie was about fixing a friend’s truck,” she said.

“When did you find out that was a lie to you?” Rivera asked.  Kupstas replied, “When it came out in the news. I confronted him via text message.”

“When you confronted the defendant through text, do you recall if he responded right away?” Rivera asked.  Kupstas replied, “I texted him and said I didn’t even know that he was with her that night. I didn’t know they were talking. I hadn’t realized they had any communication at all at that point. I was really upset. I told him that I deserve better,” said Kupstas.

Kupstas said Capobianco responded by text.  “He said he never lied to me before, and that he only lied out of embarrassment and fear. He said how amazing I was, that I’m the only one for him,” Kupstas testified.

The discussion continued on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, when Kupstas texted Capobianco saying, “I really wish you hadn’t lied to me.”  She continued, ” He did he mention he’d do anything to show me that he loves me… (and) me saying that I don’t trust him. I can’t trust you.  I’m not sure I want to take the chance because trust is everything.”

The trial will recess on Monday and resumes on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016.

Wendy Osher
Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served more than 15 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

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