Jury Hears Audio of Two Police Interviews with Capobianco

June 30, 2016, 10:23 AM HST · Updated June 30, 7:36 PM
Wendy Osher · 1 Comment
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*Note: Audio is edited to remove personal information and foul language.

The trial for murder suspect Steven Capobianco continued on Wednesday with additional testimony from Sgt. Wendell Loo who served as the initial lead detective in the missing person case involving Charli Scott.

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It marked the third day of witness testimony in the murder trial for Capobianco who is accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend Charli Scott and setting her vehicle on fire. Scott was five months pregnant and 27-years-old when she was reported missing in February of 2014.

Maui Police Detective Wendell Loo returned to the stand where he testified about two in-person interviews that were conducted with the defendant at the Wailuku Police Station on Feb. 12, 2014.  Jurors were provided with a transcript of the interviews while they listened to the recorded conversations.

During testimony, Sgt. Loo said Capobianco arrived at the station in his lifted Toyota 4Runner and described Capobianco’s demeanor as “casual.”  Sgt. Loo said that when he escorted the defendant into the station, Capobianco was “calm,” and “not very talkative.”  “He was always looking at his phone, doing something,” said Sgt. Loo.  Another detective (Dennis Lee) joined the defendant and Sgt. Loo shortly after the two entered the interview room.

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Sgt. Loo testified that he received training via a 40-hour course in the REID technique for interviews in which instruction was given in written statements, non-verbal cues and body language.

When asked about the purpose of the first interview, Sgt. Loo said it was to find out a little more background information about what was happening in Charli Scott’s life, how she was acting, if she had any issues she was dealing with, where she may have gone and if she had any thoughts of hurting herself.  Sgt. Loo described the questions as “general” in nature.

Sgt. Loo said that at that point, Capobianco was neither considered a person of interest nor a suspect in a criminal case.  He said the case remained a missing persons case.

In describing Capobianco’s body language during the interview, Sgt. Loo said it “wasn’t really attentive, sometimes had his arms folded, he would sit back and wouldn’t make contact.”  He continued, “When I asked him questions he would have to look up and think before he would answer instead of answering.”

While Capobianco was “cooperative,” Sgt. Loo said, “There wasn’t a sense of urgency.  It was just cold.”   In describing Capobianco’s actions before answering some questions, Sgt. Loo said, “He would be looking up to the right.”

When asked if at any point Capobianco told the detective that he did not want to be there, Sgt. Loo said “No.”

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    Interview 1 around 8:24 a.m. on Feb. 12, 2016: (35 minutes)

    The interview started out with basic questions about Capobianco, who said he was born on Maui and lived here his whole life.  He also said he was employed on and off for six to seven years at Mana Health Foods in Pāʻia where he worked as a baker.

    When asked about Charli Scott, Capobianco said she was his girlfriend “at one point… years ago,” but that they stayed in touch and “remained friends since then and occasionally hooked up still.” When asked to specify he said they started dating in 2011 for roughly two years to the end of 2012.

    When asked to explain the events that happened on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014, Capobianco said.
    “it actually started the day before that… Saturday the 8th, I got bored at my house kind of late at night around 11 (p.m.).   Couldn’t go to sleep.  I took a truck out to Keʻanae just to kill some time and have fun and listen to my music because I have a (inaudible) sound system.  So you can’t crank that everywhere.  So the road to Hana is really nice to do it because nobody can hear you.  I got my truck.  It died on me on the way out to… it was 3.2 miles past Keʻanae.  We measured it yesterday.  The truck died.”

    “Rolled it back down to the next safest spot to leave it on the side of the road.  Locked up.  Started walking back towards Haʻiku to try and get back to work.  I stopped checking what time it was.  I just… I was finally tired.  Caught a ride with somebody in a Toyota Corolla.  They pulled over, picked me up and took me back to Haʻiku.  Got to my house, got ready for work, went to work, um called Charli… um Carly… we all call her Charli.  Called Charli for um… just cause you know she’s pregnant with my baby so every once in a while I like to talk to her, and I wanted to talk to her and get a ride out to Keʻanae to my truck to jump it or to tow it if we had to or whatever we had to do.  I just wanted a ride from her.”

    “So we went out there. Um.  A lot of stuff to do so it took about til 8:30 (p.m.) I believe to actually leave my house.”

    During the interview, Capobianco said the two had been in touch all day starting at 9 or 10 a.m. when he sent her a text and asked to get a ride from her.  Capobianco said that Charli responded indicating that she would be able to help.

    Capobianco indicated that he had “lots of stuff to do” that day, and told the detective that Charli arrived at 8:30 p.m. and was wearing a black dress down to her knees with spaghetti straps.

    At 3:30 or 4 p.m., Capobianco said he texted her again when he got off of work saying, “look, I’ve got some other stuff I need to take care of, so I’d like to, I still want to get my truck but it’s going to have to wait a little while.  I don’t think it’s going anywhere.”  At around 8:30 p.m., Capobianco said she picked him up and drove him out to where his truck was.

    Capobianco told the Detective that since he had been out in the area, helping with the search the day before, he noted that it took roughly 45 minutes to get there.  “Sometime at like 9:15 (p.m.) or 9:30 (p.m.) we got to my truck. I got out. It was dark, so she had her headlights shined on my hood, which was way better than the night I got stuck before.  I had no flashlights. I couldn’t see anything.  Turns out I just shook my battery loose.  It’s not mounted in the way it’s supposed to be.  It’s a bungee cord cause its an old Toyota.  So it shifted like six inches and just ripped the terminals off.  So (I) replaced that real quick.  I fixed it and screwed it down real quick.  (The) truck started right up. I took off first to Haʻiku and she was supposed to follow me just in case it happened again.  That way I wouldn’t be left out there all alone again.”

    During the interview, Capobianco said, “I never let her get out of the car because she was pregnant. ”  When asked what mile marker he was at, Capobianco said his truck was 3.2 miles past the stop sign at Keʻanae Landing, roughly around Mile 20.

    Capobianco noted that Scott’s vehicle had distinct headlights with a skull emblem on her grill with two LEDs that he described as being “really bright,” and could be seen from “really far away.”

    During the interview Capobianco said, “I made sure to keep her in my rear view mirror until we got to, what was it ʻUlalena, the second entrance to ʻUlalena, at which point I felt like we both had cell phone reception, it was close enough to my house that if anything happened, she’d call me and I’d be right there.  So I proceeded to speed up a little bit.  I lost track of her right about there.  It was the last time I saw those two little lights in the rear view mirror.”

    Capobianco told police that his grandfather, whom he was living with, said he got home at around 11 p.m. Going off that estimate, Capobianco said the last time he saw Charli’s vehicle was at 10:30 p.m. and up to then she was within 100 feet behind his vehicle at any given time.

    “Every time I felt like I couldn’t see her headlights, I would slow down and wait until they popped up behind me because I didn’t want her to get stranded out there,” said Capobianco.

    At one point in the interview, Sgt. Loo said, “My only concern is, if you’re telling me you saw her all the way to (ʻUlalena) Road, why is her dog in Nāhiku?”

    Capobianco responded saying, “I don’t know.  Her dog never got out of the car at any point that I saw.  I never even let her get out of the car cause she was pregnant.  I didn’t want her trying to help me work on a truck  in the middle of the night.”

    When asked if Scott’s vehicle had any mechanical issues, Capobianco said they used the same mechanic, and he’s “pretty sure he (the mechanic) had her car running the best it could be at the time.”

    When asked about his relationship with Scott, Capobianco said there was “never any violence.” He said, like any young relationship, “there are good and bad memories.  But it never escalated to the point where we screamed at each other or anything like that.  We worked through everything.  When it finally did end,” Capobianco said, “It was just a mutual like ‘this isn’t working I’m attracted to other people and you’re attracted to other people. Let’s just go our separate ways.’  And even after we broke up, we still lived together for like six month I think.”

    During the interview Capobianco indicated that he had Just found out “within the last month or two” that Scott was pregnant.  “I had heard little whispers about it but I wasn’t sure because she stopped answering my calls… and she stopped answering my calls because she was afraid of how I was going to react about the baby.”   Capobianco continued saying, “Admittedly, I’m not thrilled about having a child.  It’s not what I was planning on doing at 24, but I was starting to buckle down and get my (expletive) together and try to take care of some (expletive) so I can take care of my child.”

    He described his relationship with Scott as “touch and go.”  “She was sure she wanted the baby and I wasn’t sure at first, but I saw how happy it made her and it made me happy, so it was growing on me.”

    When asked about abortion, Capobianco said, “I asked her to consider it, but I didn’t say it had to be.  It’s her body and her choice.  Like I said, I wasn’t thrilled about having a child, and my first reaction was ‘hey, I’m not ready for this,’ but about a week later, I you know again saw how happy she was with it–if that’s what it takes to make her happy, I would have been all for it… I am all for it.”

    “We talked about naming our baby,” Capobianco said of the discussion that occurred during the ride.”
    “She seemed happy,” said Capobianco.

    Sgt. Loo then asked Capobianco about Scott being pregnant and if she had any mood swings.  Capobianco responded saying, “I’ve seen her do it, but this last drive seemed absolutely fine,” said Capobianco.

    “I’ve said a few things while she was pregnant that obviously upset her, so I was trying to make a really big point of not upsetting her this time.”  When asked for a further explanation, Capobianco referenced when she first told him about the baby and he asked her to consider terminating it.  “That kind of upset her.  She didn’t talk to me for about a week after that.”

    “I threw out adoption at one point, just as an option, again I wasn’t necessarily ready to have a child and that upset her.  But it was never like angry or anything like that.”

    “You know, I was thinking, and I put it out there because that’s the kind of person I am.  I never said it maliciously.  I never said ‘hey you have to get rid of it or have to give it up for adoption or like I’m not going to be a part of its life.’  I was completely ready to be a part of this child’s life.  Still am.  (expletive) I keep saying it like she’s gone.”

    When asked if there is anybody she would see or a place she would go when she’s having issues to just meditate to calm herself down or to just be alone, Capobianco said Scott would pick a spot to run her dog on Piʻiholo Road in the Makawao Forest Reserve and Polipoli “every once in a while,” and the dog would chase the truck.

    When asked about Scott’s relationship with her mom, Capobianco described it as a “nurturing one.”   He said that although they argued “now and then,” but that the relationship was a good one.

    Capobianco was also asked if Scott ever talked about anyone harassing her and said, “There was this dude at her house that she told me a couple of stories about.”

    “On Thanksgiving, he just kind of showed up at her door, said he lived on the property and needed a ride to the store, and basically strong armed her into it.  And it happened again on Christmas, but she turned him down on Christmas.  And then one day recently,” Capobianco said she caught him in her personal shower, and explained that you have to go outside the unit to get to the bathroom which is in a separate shack.  “When she walked outside one day she said like her shower was running.  She went out there and it was that guy.  And she never said so much about harassing her, but I didn’t like the feeling that I got when she told me those stories.”

    Capobianco described the guy as, “a scrubby looking haole dude,” saying, “the mom had a bunch of information on this, more so that I do.”

    “She did tell me that when she talked to other people on the property, they said that he wasn’t supposed to be there.”

    “Someone said it was the landlords cousin for that house, I can’t really confirm that, but when somebody asked the landlord, he straight up was like, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

    When the Detective asked Capobianco if they were followed by the guy, he responded saying, “No, I didn’t see cars on the road for the vast majority of the time we were out there…  I don’t even think he has a car.”

    When asked if he did anything to hurt Scott or have anybody hurt Scott for him, he replied saying, “Absolutely not,” to both questions.

    During questioning, Capobianco was asked if he would hurt Scott, he said, “Never.  I would never bring any harm to my own child either.”

    When Detective Loo explained that he had to ask these questions, Capobianco responded saying, “It’s understandable.  Actually I was going to bring it up because I realize, you know, as the guy who got her pregnant and one of her ex-boyfriends, I’m probably a prime suspect.”

    When asked if Scott met somebody else, Capobianco replied saying, “I never asked about that kind of stuff… If she had another boyfriend, great for her… I really doubt it because I would have heard about it.  I mean, it’s an island,” noting that they have many of the same friends.

    Detective Loo asked, “If I needed to look at your phone would you be willing to?”  Capobianco responding saying, “Absolutely.”  He added, “About going through my texts, I actually delete my texts pretty regularly just to keep my phone running fast, so the whole conversation isn’t in there, just the one text I sent the next morning saying thanks for your help.”

    During the interview, Capobianco said he’s be willing to help in any way possible.  He said, “I think you got everything.  I’m new to this… I think I’ve given you everything  I can right now.”

    That first interview ended at 8:57 a.m. on Feb. 12, 2014.

    Review of photos:

    Sgt. Loo was questioned about photos showing the interior and exterior of Capobianco’s vehicle, as well as a close up of the battery.  Additional photos were presented of the defendant’s hands, which were taken by an evidence technician at the Maui Police Department on the same day of the interviews.

    Sgt. Loo explained that he observed injuries on each of Capobianco’s hands.

    At 11:22 a.m. on Feb. 12, 2014, Capobianco was advised of his constitutional rights and  a second interview was conducted, this time in the Lieutenant’s office at the Wailuku Police Station’s Criminal Investigation Division.

    That interview was also recorded and lasted about 41 minutes.

    Second interview: 11:22 a.m. – 12:03 p.m. Feb. 12, 2014: (41 minutes)

    During the second interview police asked Capobianco if he would you like to waive his rights without speaking to an attorney, and he responded saying, “Sure.”

    Detective Loo started by asking about injuries he observed on Capobianco’s hands.  Capobianco responded saying he was burned at work where he is employed as a baker.  “That happens a lot, especially on this arm,” he said.

    He explained an injury to his other hand saying, “This one was from working on my truck window.  The window came down on me.  I was trying to prop a… the motor failed trying to prop the window up with a dowel on the inside so it would stay up.  The thing slammed into my finger.”  When asked when the injury occurred, he said, “roughly a week ago.”

    Sgt. Loo continued by asking if there was a fight or argument to which Capobianco said no.  “You’ve gotta help us figure this out,” said Sgt. Loo.

    Capobianco responded saying, “That’s why I came down here.  I’m doing my absolute best.  I told you guys everything I have. I’ve literally been everything I can to help find this girl myself.  I want to find Charli.  I want to find my child.  I want them to be safe.  I love them.  I love Charli.  I know the child is not there yet, so.  But I still love the idea of having a legacy and I would never bring any harm to that.”

    “The last time we talked, we talked about names, and I don’t know word for word, but  when we started talking about the names she mentioned that obviously its going to have the last name Scott, so she wanted to have an Italian first name… so we were discussing that and then I really liked the name Alexander.   And every time I do think about children, I always thought my son would be named Alexander.”

    Sgt. Loo responded saying, “So, you knew it was a boy already?”

    Capobianco  said, “No I just was really, really hoping.  Who doesn’t want a boy for their first child, right?  Um the conversation continued  and she wanted her uncle to be some part of it… We didn’t decide anything  then, but the end of the conversation ended with the name possibly being Alexander Joshua Scott… and it was amazing.  That was the best it had been in a really long time.  Like I said, it’s been touch and go because it was a touch and go situation.  Unplanned pregnancy, we’re not together.  It’s going to be weird.  Two single parents, but everything was fine.  There was no arguments that night.  There was no altercation of any kind.”

    When asked it there was any issue about not having his last name on the birth certificate, Capobianco said, “No, I was absolutely fine with that.  (If) she wanted to we could have hyphenated it or something, but we just never got that far in the conversation.”

    Prefaced by the statement that Capobianco was the last person to see her alive, Sgt. Loo asked Capobianco why waited until the next morning to text her to tell her thank you, and why he sped instead of waiting until her headlights caught up.

    “Because we were both in an area where we had cell phone reception.  I was close to home and wanted to get home to my dog. I figured if she needed any help, she was just a phone call away… she wasn’t stuck in Keʻanae anymore.  If she got stuck at Twin Falls, I could have easily turned around and come got her.  So that’s where I came from,” said Capobianco.

    Sgt. Loo continued questioning saying, “I’ve got to ask you again Steven.  You know, (expletive) happens.  I understand heat of the moment.  It was an accident.  Whatever…”

    Capobianco responded saying, “There was absolutely no altercation.  There wasn’t even any physical contact between us besides the hug I gave her when I got into her car.”

    Sgt. Loo pursued the same line of questioning saying, “The thing is, we’re going to eventually find her and stuff you know. So the thing is if we do find her God willing that she’s alive and stuff, is she going to tell me that Steve hit me, knocked me out, tied me up, whatever?”

    “She will not tell you that,” said Capobianco.

    When asked how positive he is about that, Capobianco responded saying, “100% sure.”

    During the interview, Capobianco said he never hit Scott, and the only time he unintentionally hurt her was while roughhousing. “But it wasn’t      like i maliciously hurt her.”

    While questioning Capobianco, Sgt. Loo said, “The unfortunate thing is let’s say we find her body you know deceased and stuff, God forbid that, what if that does happen, is it going to show that she was strangled, you know or that she was stabbed , she was shot shot?”

    “I can hope not, and if it was (inaudible) it was not me,” said Capobianco.

    Sgt. Loo pursued the same line of questioning saying, “Like I said, I gotta stress to you.  We understand (expletive) happens…”

    Capobianco responded saying, “I understand where you guys are coming from… This is your job. Statistically speaking when something like this happens to a woman it’s usually the man involved.  I’ll give you as much information as I can.  I’ll even drag you guys out there and show you step by step what happened.   Whatever it takes.”

    Police then sought confirmation that Scott never got out of her vehicle to which Capobianco responded saying, “She pulled up in such a way that her headlights shined on my hood.  She offered help, but I said no, she’s pregnant.  I wanted her to sit there and be comfortable.  And I mean I cut myself when I was working on the truck.  I didn’t want that to happen to her.  Even though that’s little, you know, I don’t want to hurt her.  I don’t want her to be hurt at all.  So I did it all myself.”

    Sgt. Loo then asked what was wrong with the vehicle,” and Capobianco responded saying, “I’m assuming I had taken a turn a little too sharply.  My battery is held in with a bungee cable.  I can show you that right now… I’m assuming that when I hit one of the turns too hard, it slid because it was not where it was supposed to be when I opened the hood and so the wires had come… ripped out.  Like the positive terminal wasn’t completely connected.  Pretty much.  So I wasn’t getting power to my starter, I believe.  I didn’t notice that the night before because it was late and I was tired.  I just wanted to get home and get to work the next day.”

    Sgt. Loo questioned Capobianco further saying, “The thing is you only really need your battery to start your car, but your car was working fine on your way out there, is that correct?”

    Capobianco responded saying, “So driving out there I was going uphill, the car stalled on me.  I stopped, tried to start it again, and it just gave me that little tic tic tic.  So I assumed there was a short somewhere and that my battery was being drained.”

    “Now your car stalled?” said Sgt. Loo.

    “Yeah, that’s what happened… again I’m assuming it’s because my battery shifted and moved a bunch of wires.  I’m really not sure.”  After the car stalled, Capobianco said he was in the middle of the road, “rolled it backwards carefully to the next spot that was like close to the road.  I rolled it back out of the road, proceeded to tinker with a few things, but I had no tools with me and my measly little cell phone for light, so I gave up after about 10 minutes and just started walking back towards Haiku with my (inaudible) off and I don’t recall how long it took, but about three cars passed before I got picked up by somebody.  And they took me pretty close to my house because they were going to Makawao anyway.  So (they) dropped me off at the bottom of Pakanu, took me roughly 20 minutes to walk home from there.  I got home, passed out.

    Sgt. Loo then asked Capobianco when he returned with Scott, how long he was working on his car when he figured out what was wrong with it.

    “With her lights actually shining on my engine bay, it took five to 10 minutes to see a bunch of wires that had gotten undone.  (I) just bolted everything back on tighter and moved the battery back to where it was supposed to be.  There was one wire that had been ripped entirely.  It looked like a ground that went from the battery terminal to the chassis.  I replaced that.  The thing started right up and ran, but I wasn’t sure because it seems kind of weird like you said.  If the battery was (inaudible) shift and stall your car out.  So that’s why I had her following me just in case it happened again, she would still be there behind me and I wouldn’t be stranded.”

    “We got back to Twin Falls.  I felt comfortable taking off,” said Capobianco.

    Sgt. Loo said, “If she didn’t get out of the car at any time, when you were over there and you were working on your car and stuff, and you’re telling me she followed you all the way out to ʻUlalena/Twin Falls area, you’re positive about that?  How did we find her dog in Nāhiku?  How can you explain that?”

    Capobianco responded saying, “I can not. Other than that dog… I’ve seen dogs run miles, but I have no explanation how it got out there.  The fact that it was dry and clean when it was out there even though the weather has been kind of neh, I’ve got nothing on that one… I just saw pictures of it.  It looked in really good condition, which I was happy about, but again I have no explanation.”

    Sgt. Loo asked, “Did you do anything to cause her to crash?” and Capobianco responded with a, “No.”

    “I want to believe you.  I really, really do, you know… but you know the thing is I’ve been doing this thing for a long time,” said Sgt. Loo.

    Capobianco said, “It’s your job not to and I understand, that’s okay… I’ve literally given you guys everything that happened between Saturday night and Sunday night when I saw her last.”

    Sgt. Loo indicated that the police will be getting his text messages and asked if there was anything on there or any exchange of words and Capobianco said, “Absolutely not. As far back as you go, you will never find anything like that.”

    When Sgt. Loo said he was just trying to figure out what was going on, Capobianco said, “I had nothing to do with her disappearance, other than the fact  that I… If I had never called her for help, it wouldn’t be her out there, maybe it would be somebody else, I don’t know.  I do totally hold myself responsible to some degree because she wouldn’t have been out in that area if it weren’t for me.”

    Sgt. Loo asked Capobianco why he didn’t call his friend Adam or somebody else to help him to get his car to which Capobianco responded, “Because I wanted to talk to Charli about having this (inaudible).”

    Sgt. Loo also asked Capobianco why he didn’t call someone when his car stalled out on Saturday night.  Capobianco said, “because it was about 2 in the morning and I didn’t want to bother anybody.”

    “You know that’s one hell of a hike,” said Sgt. Loo, and Capobianco said, “I’ve actually done it before… um, I just posted up at Keʻanae landing right under the street light (inaudible) thumb out.  That was a three mile walk to there… roughly… what did I say 3.2 miles when I hit the odometer at the stop sign.  I drove out there yesterday.  Um a car or two passed me there.  A car passed me under the street light and then another car actually stopped and yeah.  I’m just trying to get home to get to work in the morning.  Took me damn near right home.”

    When asked about the driver’s name, Capobianco said, “Some dude named Brian driving a Toyota Corolla, but we just… exchanged pleasantries.”

    “I was actually kind of tired and then just told him where I was going.  I think I may have even nodded off a few times in the car,” said Capobianco.

    Sgt. Loo said, “You don’t seem like the type of person that goes out and beat people up and especially your girlfriend who’s carrying your child.  So the thing is, is there something in the past that happened other than that rough housing and stuff.  And you know, or is it something unrelated that… a previous girlfriend or something that you’re thinking about that you got involved with?”

    “No,” said Capobianco.  “The rough housing was litterally like I was just being playful.  I was going to push her out of the bed and we were going to have sex    , but I pushed her a little too far and she didn’t like it.  So, she didn’t actually get hurt, she just wasn’t happy.  Um, what did.. what about another girlfriend? Can you clarify that question a little bit?” Capobianco said.

    “Basically, you know, did you have another girlfriend prior to Charli and maybe you had an incident with her?” said Sgt. Loo.

    Capobianco responded saying, “I’ve had two girlfriends since Charli actually and Taylor did not end exactly well, but again, I wish no harm on her.  She was just cheating on me  so I put all her stuff outside and said, ‘Well you can go move in with him.’  And then that was actually about a week before I got Charli pregnant because I was very upset with the situation at hand.  I was going to Stopwatch to drink that night. Got trashed.  She was there.  Started talking, and I woke up at her house the next and like ‘Ah crap.’  And then I get a call a couple months later like ‘Yeah, Charli’s got your baby.'”

    When asked who told him, Capobianco said he learned the news from his friend Adam.

    “She didn’t want to tell me because I’ve made it kind of clear that I’m not a big fan of children.  I don’t interact with children.  I don’t hate them.  I don’t like, you know kick children away from me or anything… I don’t want to hang out with anything that can’t have a conversation with me right now.  So I think she was scared of what my initial reaction was going to be.  That’s what my friend Adam said.  But he told me and I called her and I’m sure you’ll be able to pull up the voicemail if you go back far enough.  The voice mail that I left her was like, ‘Well, there’s no hiding it now.  I know you’re carrying my child.  I know you’re probably scared of how I’m going to react, but I promise you I will not react harshly in any way.  I just think we need to start dialogue again.  We need to talk.  If you’re going to have my baby, I want to be a part of its life and I need to know how we’re going to do this.  And then periodically every couple of weeks we’d get together and talk about things.  The first few conversations were like, ‘Well, have you considered termination.  Have you considered adoption.”

    “Admittedly, I didn’t want to deal with a child… but as I saw how happy it made her to be starting a family, and how happy it made everybody else that she told (that) she was starting a family, it kind of grew on me–even to the point where when we were gonna discussing names.  That’s actually in a text message you’ll probably pull up was, I called her and was like I want to discuss names.  I think it’s something we should do,” said Capobianco.

    “So you’re telling me you don’t hate kids, but you don’t want kids?” said Sgt. Loo.

    “You know, it’s not that I don’t want kids.  It’s just I never planned for it and this was a giant… giant surprise,” said Capobianco.  When asked about his concerns, Capobianco said, “I’m a single 24-year-old male who has a dog, and I can barely keep me and my dog… I mean like, we eat pretty well, but it’s like  I have a dollar in my pocket right now until my next paycheck.  I don’t have any spare cash for a child.  And she’s the same way.  She’s working two or there jobs from what I understand and barely scraping by on her bills too with her two dogs, so she… I mean, I just didn’t see it happening.  I want to provide the best possible life for that child, and at first it just didn’t seem like it was going to happen.  But again, as I saw her being happy and I saw the other people being happy, and everybody around us was so helpful and so willing to help support us that it was going to work,” said Capobianco.

    “And even my new current girlfriend Cassie (sp)… I called her up immediately as I found out.  Laid it out for her and she wasn’t necessarily happy, of course, but even she was willing to try to make this all work.  And I told Charli about my new girlfriend Cassie and all three of us were willing to make this work,” said Capobianco.

    When asked how long he had been seeing his new girlfriend, Capobianco said, “I think we started seeing each other in November-ish.”

    “So right after… ?” said Sgt. Loo to which Capobianco responded, “Yeah.  I got rid of Taylor.  Had sex with Charli, got another girl.  Um, I’m sorry I’m cute.  Can’t help it.”

    Capobianco continued saying, “Cassie was kind of an interesting thing because.  This might be irrelevant, but… I’ll give you guys any information I can.  So I started seeing Cassie just at… I saw her at a bar.  I started talking to her.  I called her up the next day.  We kept talking.  We got along really well.  Things started going really well.  We started actually dating.  Um, she had already bought her plane ticket back to her home on the mainland in Pennsylvania before I met her, so I didn’t realize it when we first met, but we only had three weeks to hang out I think,” said Capobianco.

    “So she dropped that ball at some point and I’m like ‘Okay, we’ll just have fun while you’re here and whatever happens after that… well, 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.  Maybe two or three weeks right after she got home.  And the plane ticket is for the 18th.  She lands here at 9:40 (inaudible) at night,” said Capobianco.

    “What did she say when you told her ‘I’m going to be a daddy,'” Sgt. Loo asked.

    “At first she hung up on me because what she thought that I was saying was that I was cheating on her.  So after we cleared that up, she was confused and didn’t really know how to think about it.   She has another friend named Maile who is in a very similar situation, dating this man named Zach.  Zach has a baby with another girl, so Maile is step-mom effectively, right? So Cassie called Maile.  Maile told her you know, ‘It’s not what you’re expecting, but it’s going to be nice.  You don’t have to raise the kid yourself.  It’s not you’re kid.  Just smile and keep it (inaudible) when you can.  If I need help, help me.’  I don’t know the full extent of their conversation, but basically, lightened Cassie up to the point where she was accepting of it and she was still willing to come back and try at the very least,” said Capobianco.

    He continued, “She was actually going to move back whether or not it was for me cause she’s miserable in Pennsylvania because it’s like negative 20 down there right now.  She has family here, so she was going to move back in with them if it wasn’t in with me.”

    When asked if she pressured him to terminate, Capobianco responded saying, “She in fact pressured me to be a big part of the child’s life.

    Capobianco was also questioned about his financials, and responded saying he makes about $2,000 a month.  He said his 1992 4Runner gets around 12 miles to the gallon saying, “It’s the only truck I have.  I don’t have money to go buy another truck right now or car or anything.”

    He continued saying, “Dog food–I do not feed my dog cheap food.  I refuse to feed my dog with anything with corn in it or rice or any filler material.  He gets damn near pure meat food.  Whenever I can, I feed him raw meat food.  So that gets kind of expensive.  Other than that, just basic living expenses.  Shampoo to keep myself clean and what not.  But it takes up pretty close to all of my money.  I even have to take out a few personal loans to put tires on my truck,” said Capobianco.

    “I forget if it’s gross or net.  My paycheck says $1,000 every two weeks.  But because of a personal loan I took out with my boss, I actually only get  $800,” said Capobianco.  “By the end of the month, it’s just gone,” he said, noting that he also has car insurance and pays $500 in rent a month.

    “But I get half of the house to myself.  I can do whatever I want.  And, I can leave my dog there, which is really big for me.  There’s a big acre yard and I don’t have to chain my dog up because I refuse to do that.  There’s a fenced in yard and my grandfather watches my dog and even plays with him sometimes, so that’s worth $500 in itself to me,” said Capobianco.

    In concluding the interview, Sgt. Loo said, “I want to believe…”

    Capobianco responded saying, “It’s your job to be skeptical and check out every lead and I understand.  I want to, but I don’t know where Charli is… I brought no harm to her myself… I did not have anybody else do it.  I just wanted to make this all work,” said Capobianco.

    Sgt. Loo said, “I appreciate your cooperation… but like I said I’m just really concerned.  It makes me kind of have to rethink things.”

    “If you need me to sign off on anything    , to search anything, I’m all for it… search my vehicle.  Do whatever you want,” said Capobianco.

    When asked if Charli was ever in his vehicle recently, Capobianco said, “No… she didn’t like my truck cause it’s… you got to climb into it.”

    “But she’s 5’10”,” said Sgt. Loo.

    Capobianco responded saying, “She’s 5’10” and pregnant and kind of heavy set, so… ”

    Sgt. Loo asked Capobianco again if he could think of anybody else that would know anything that might have happened to Charli.

    Capobianco said, “I don’t want to be trying to send anybody in the wrong direction here, but her family keeps bring up this guy that was sketching out at at her house, who the landlord straight up lied about when he talked about.  And we talked about that before.  That’s the only other thing that I have.”

    Sgt. Loo asked if Capobianco saw anybody following him the night caught a ride with Charli to fix his car and Capobianco said, “A car might have passed us while I was working on the truck… there was no third car either way.”

    “And she didn’t respond to you on Wednesday when you texted her?” asked Sgt. Loo.

    “No, but I didn’t think that was unusual because she does work sometimes and sometimes does not get back to me right away.  I in fact, kind of shrugged it off until the cops tapped on my door at 5:30 the next morning.  And then I became really concerned.  Went to work… (inaudible) to do my work as fast as I could and drove her family out there to show them exactly what happened,” said Capobianco.

    The second interview concluded at 12:03 p.m. on Feb. 12, 2014.

      +
      SWIPE LEFT OR RIGHT
      Sgt. Wendell Loo pointing to a photo of injury marks on on the defendant's hands (6.29.16) Photo by Wendy Osher.

      Sgt. Wendell Loo pointing to a photo of injury marks on on the defendant’s hands (6.29.16) Photo by Wendy Osher.

      Steven Capobianco (6.29.16) Photo by Wendy Osher.

      Steven Capobianco (6.29.16) Photo by Wendy Osher.

      Sgt. Wendell Loo demonstrating the demeanor of Capobianco leaning back during a police interview. (6.29.16) Photo by Wendy Osher.

      Sgt. Wendell Loo demonstrating the demeanor of Capobianco leaning back during a police interview. (6.29.16) Photo by Wendy Osher.

      Steven Capobianco (6.29.16) Photo by Wendy Osher.

      Steven Capobianco (6.29.16) Photo by Wendy Osher.

      Sgt. Wendell Loo (6.29.16) Photo by Wendy Osher.

      Sgt. Wendell Loo (6.29.16) Photo by Wendy Osher.

      Steven Capobianco (6.29.16) Photo by Wendy Osher.

      Steven Capobianco (6.29.16) Photo by Wendy Osher.

      Wendy Osher
      Wendy Osher leads the Maui Now news team. She is also the news voice of parent company, Pacific Media Group, having served nearly 20 years as News Director for the company’s six Maui radio stations.

      View Full Bio

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