Capobianco Murder Trial: Graphic Photos Detailed
The Maui murder trial for Steven Capobianco entered a fourth day on Friday with continued testimony from lead detective Wendell Loo, who pointed to photographs and described hair clumps, bone fragments and clothing allegedly belonging to the victim that were recovered from Nuaʻailua Bay in East Maui.
Jurors also listened to the start of a third interview with Capobianco that was conducted by Maui Police in which further details about his relationship with ex-girlfriend, Charli Scott were revealed.
Capobianco is accused of killing Scott, who was 27-years-old and five months pregnant when she went missing in February of 2014. He is also charged with setting her vehicle on fire.
He entered a not-guilty plea to the charges on July 15, 2014.
During testimony, Sgt. Loo described Scott’s tipped over and burned out vehicle which was found on Feb. 12, 2014 at Peʻahi “Jaws.”
The discovery was followed by a search for Scott by a team of more than two dozen SWAT officers the following morning.
During the search, police were notified of a discovery near Mile 18 of the Hāna Highway, as well as a pair of stained jeans found by a civilian search group on the makai side of the road near Kaumahina State Wayside Park.
At Mile 18, Sgt. Loo testified that drag marks were observed below a guardrail on the makai shoulder of the road and that vegetation below appeared to be “pushed down.”
Sgt. Loo also testified about items recovered from Nuaʻailua, including: a pool of maggots, clumps of red hair, a piece of jawbone, fingernails, pieces of skin, a bra and a body piercing with flesh still attached.
Sgt. Loo also pointed out the base of a tree where he observed a fresh cut mark and noticed strands of red hair.
He said the search of the area was conducted over two days because investigators ran out of daylight on Feb. 14, and returned on Feb. 15 to continue their investigation.
The items were collected and taken to the Maui Forensic Facility in Wailuku. Sgt. Loo said the maggots were also recovered so that they could be turned over to a forensic entomologist for review to determine a timeline.
During the review of photographs, Capobianco covered his mouth and a woman in the front row of the gallery could be heard sobbing.
The prosecution then turned the jury’s attention to a third interview conducted with Capobianco which took place at 11:20 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2014 at the Wailuku Police Station.
Due to the length of the interview, only a potion of it was played on Friday before court went into recess. The remainder of the interview will be played back to the jury on Tuesday, July 5, when the trial resumes.
Fellow Detective BJ Gannon was brought in as a “fresh set of eyes” and started the interview by questioning Capobianco about his relationship with Scott.
During the interview, Capobianco said he worked from around 6:30 or 7 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8 and finished at around 2:30 or 3:30 p.m. He told police that he remembered talking to Scott at some point and sending her “a few text messages,” in which he said he “probably just asked her if she wanted to hang out and talk.” He said he was “trying to get dialogue started again” after finding out that she was pregnant with his child.
Capobianco said he first learned of the pregnancy from Scott’s sister whom he said texted him about “Charli’s condition.” Capobianco said he wasn’t convinced and said he tried to contact Scott, but that she did not return his messages.
Capobianco said he reached out to Scott again after getting a phone call from his friend Adam who allegedly told him he had just been to the doctor with Scott and heard the baby’s heartbeat.
During the interview Capobianco said he left a voicemail for Scott saying, “So there’s no getting around it… Adam told me,” and Capobianco told police that Scott called him back within an hour.
Capobianco said that when Scott first got pregnant, she was going to terminate, but had to save up some money to do so. Then, he said, she talked to somebody about it, and started thinking about keeping it. “She started sleeping better and feeling better, and decided she wanted to start a family,” said Capobianco during the interview.
Capobianco told police that admittedly, he was “not thrilled” about her withholding information and told her that he couldn’t be her husband, but will be there for the baby in any way he could. He said that he ask that she think about terminating the pregnancy, but said he left the choice up to her.
He said the two talked face to face during a drive in her truck in Makawao. When asked why they did not go somewhere to talk, Capobianco indicated that Scott was not allowed at his house because of an incident years ago when he said she allegedly tried to break in one of his windows of his Nissan Sentra at the time. Since then, he said, his grandfather did not welcome her at the house.
When asked if Scott had been pregnant before, Capobianco said she had terminated a pregnancy once before, but that he found out about it after the fact when he caught her crying in the middle of the night.
In the interview, Capobianco also said he slept with one of Scott’s sisters, a factor that created turmoil.
The rest of the audio from the interview is expected to be played for jurors on Tuesday when the trial resumes for what will be a fifth day.
Carly “Charli” Joann Scott, 27, was last known to have left the Haʻikū area on Sunday night, Feb. 9, 2014, to assist her ex-boyfriend, who family members say asked for help because of car trouble he had near mile marker 20 of the Hāna Highway.
Capobianco told authorities that Charli picked him up that night and took him retrieve his vehicle, which had stalled 3.2 miles past Keanae. He said he lost sight of her near Twin Falls as she followed him in her own vehicle after the repairs were complete.
Scott was five months pregnant when she went missing, and Capobianco was the father of the unborn child.
The woman’s dog, who was with her when she went missing, was found near the Nāhiku Market Place on Monday, Feb. 10.
Her vehicle was found torched two days later on Wednesday night, Feb. 12, in Peʻahi, mauka of the surf spot known as “Jaws.” Her clothing and blanket were found at Nuaʻailua Bay just East of Honomanū. The items were located over a span of 25 to 30 miles apart.