Judge denies motion for new trial in Steven Capobianco murder case

There will be no new trial for Steven Capobianco.

Judge Joseph Cardoza decided Monday that the man found guilty of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend, Carly “Charli” Scott, got a fair trial the first time around, and his attorney did not prove otherwise.

Carly Scott was 27 years old and five months pregnant with Capobianco’s child when she disappeared back in 2014. Her body has never been found.

At the conclusion of Monday’s hearing, as Capobianco left the courtroom, Scott’s mother told us she couldn’t help firing off a question at him that she says no one is asking.

“Where is she, Steven? Where is she?” Kimberlyn Scott asked.

Scott says she has no regrets for the outburst in court.

“I want to know where she is,” Scott told KHON2. “We have a verdict. We know he’s guilty. I’m tired of all of the white noise, all of the other appeals and, I’m just tired. I want my daughter and I want my grandchild.

“We don’t have a system that forces him to answer where is she,” Scott added. “He can be convicted and still not answer.”

In December 2016, jurors found Capobianco guilty of killing Scott following a trial that lasted more than six months.

Attorney Jon Apo argued that Capobianco did not get a fair trial for three reasons: jury misconduct, misconduct by prosecutors, and not being allowed to use phone records of Scott’s sister during the trial.

The victim’s family sat in court Monday as he fought for a new trial. One of his arguments was that the week-long break jurors were granted during the Christmas holiday cost his client his freedom.

“The instant case was likely the highest profile and publicized trial in Maui County history, with news articles being written almost on a daily basis. Public sentiment was and is extremely strong, most often hostile towards the defense,” he said.

But Cardoza shut it down. “I think it would be unrealistic, inappropriate, and unfair to not allow the jurors to enjoy their Christmas holiday,” he said.

Apo also argued that jurors were exposed to media coverage in the case, which is not allowed, and that there was prosecutor misconduct because Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rivera used emotion to sway the jury.

Ultimately, the judge denied the motion, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to support the defense’s claims.

With Monday’s decision, Capobianco is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, March 24.

He’s facing life in prison without parole, but his defense team has a chance to appeal the ruling after the sentencing.

It’s the outcome Scott wanted, but not one that will give her closure.

“I don’t know how to be satisfied. I don’t know how to accept that this is justice at all, until she at least comes home,” she said. “Nobody but me is asking that question. None of the authorities or people who interact with him legally, ask this question, ‘Where is she?'”

In an unrelated matter, Capobianco could face another felony charge when he was caught with contraband during a visit on Feb. 19. A 49-year-old woman attempted to pass suspected illegal narcotics to him.

Corrections officers noticed what was happening and arrested both the woman and Capobianco.

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