Guilty of murder — that’s the unanimous decision a jury came to on Maui Wednesday in the Steven Capobianco murder trial.
The verdict came in after more than three weeks of deliberations and six months of trial.
Jurors found Capobianco guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend Carly “Charli” Scott. She was 27 years old and five months pregnant when she vanished in February 2014.
Part of a jawbone and clumps of red hair were found at a crime scene, along with torn clothing similar to what Scott was wearing the night she disappeared.
Capobianco admitted he was with Scott the last time she was seen alive, but maintained his innocence throughout.
The jury deliberated for most of December to reach this guilty verdict. It’s clearly not the outcome the Capobianco defense team wanted, but for Charli’s mother Kimberlyn Scott, the verdict is a step closer to closure.
For the last few months, Scott was not allowed to watch the trial unfold for technical reasons. She was, however, called to the stand as a witness.
“It was beyond frustrating,” she said. “It was devastating. It was very, very difficult.
But now there’s a verdict. Scott sat in court Wednesday as the man accused of murdering her daughter was found guilty. Witnesses in the courtroom say Capobianco did not show emotion as the verdict was read.
But Scott, sitting close to Capobianco, she felt emotions flare up in her that will likely never go away.
“It just hurts a lot,” she said. “It hurts to know he’s drawing air and she’s not.”
When asked if she feels justice has been served, Scott said “partially.” Her daughter’s body has never been found.
“We don’t have Charli. This is still part of the battle for us. I still want to bring my child home — and hers.”
And the trial is not done yet. In what Judge Joseph Cardoza called the “final phase,” jurors must now deliberate on the state’s additional allegation that Capobianco knowingly caused the death of another person, especially in a “heinous, atrocious and cruel manner.” The jury learned of the final phase in court Wednesday.
Defense Attorney Jon Apo asked for more time. “I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the defense to be asking for more than I don’t know how many hours between now and 11 a.m. tomorrow morning, but I’m not sure why we’re being rushed to do that, particularly when such a severe outcome is hinging on that hearing.”
Apo’s plea, however, was turned down by the judge.
Scott says she’s okay with the additional time spent in court. “I want to hear what they found of the enhancement. The enhancement is meant to bump the penalty up to what it would be for first degree murder, which means life without the possibility of parole.”
The jury will be back in court Thursday morning to hear arguments on this enhanced sentence. Judge cardoza says it’s expected to last, at most, two days.