More than three years after Carly “Charli” Scott’s disappearance on Maui, the man convicted of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend learned Friday that he’s going away for a very long time.
Steven Capobianco was sentenced by Judge Joseph Cardoza to life in prison with the possibility of parole, bringing to a close one of the most high-profile murder cases in the state.
Last December, Capobianco was found guilty of murdering Scott. He was also convicted of second-degree arson for burning Scott’s vehicle.
On Friday morning, the Wailuku courtroom was packed with Scott’s family and friends. For them, this was not only their chance to address the judge, but more importantly, to speak directly to Capobianco.
Their words captured the sorrow and anger they’ve felt over their loss ever since Scott’s disappearance, venting and expressing emotions that have been building up over the lengthy trial.
Tissues were passed out beforehand, and as soon as Capobianco entered the courtroom in his orange jail clothing, the tears started to flow.
“I feel like everybody’s expecting to be able to move on after today,” said sister Fiona Wais. “We’re hoping for it, but there’s no moving on.”
“The way that he committed this is so disgusting that I truly, with all of my heart, believe that he never deserves to see the light of day again — and that’s coming from someone that used to really care about Steven,” said Adam Gaines, Capobianco’s former roommate.
“I knew he was trouble,” he said. “But I saw something inside him, beyond his darkness, that maybe I could help him. I was wrong. There is nothing good or decent. You are a purely sociopathic person that hasn’t showed one ounce of remorse or regret for this disgusting act you planned or executed. I don’t believe you ever expressed any genuine emotion.
“Rot in hell, you bastard,” Gaines told Capobianco.
Others who spoke in court Friday also said they will never forgive Capobianco for what he did to the pregnant Scott.
Scott’s friend Brittany Baker said to Judge Cardoza, “I beg you, please, sentence him with the harshest penalty. Why should this man walk free when, for the rest of our lives, we won’t be free? The pain of losing my pregnant friend? Why should he be free when Charli and Josh (the name given to her unborn baby) will never be free? Steven, where are they? I hope you have fun in jail for the rest of your life.”
Some turned to Capobianco to address him personally, including Scott’s mother, Kimberlyn Scott. The last to speak was Scott’s father, Robert Scott, who was ejected from the courtroom after threatening to spit on Capobianco’s attorney, Jon Apo.
Judge Cardoza gave Capobianco the opportunity to address the court as well, but he refused. He also remained stoic in expression during the sentencing.
Cardoza spent over an hour behind closed doors before he came back to deliver the sentence. “Mr. Capobianco, your actions were senseless. They were cold, they were calculated and self-centered, and for that, you must serve an extremely severe penalty under law and community.”
The judge recommended a minimum sentence of 70 years for the murder charge and an additional 10 years to run concurrently for the arson charge, for a total of 80 years in prison before he would be eligible for parole. The final decision, however, will be determined by the Hawaii Paroling Authority.
Steven Capobianco left the courtroom with the always constant questions of “Where is she, Steven?” ringing from the gallery. He remains in custody and will be back in court on May 4 for a restitution hearing.
Looking back through the case, Scott was first reported missing in February 2014. She was 27 years old and five months pregnant at the time.
According to Capobianco, Scott had helped him get his car out of a ditch in Hana, and that was the last time anyone saw her alive.
A few days after she went missing, her burned SUV, clothes, hair, jawbone, and shoes were recovered, but her body was never found. Still, her case was reclassified to murder.
- Pregnant woman goes missing on Maui
- Maui police confirm torched car belongs to missing woman
- Ex-boyfriend of missing pregnant Maui woman indicted
In July 2014, Capobianco was arrested and indicted on a second-degree murder charge and arson in the second degree.
During the trial, the jury heard recordings of Capobianco being interviewed by police.
The trial went on for six months, and it took jurors three weeks to come to a unanimous decision.
- Murder trial begins for Maui man accused of killing pregnant ex-girlfriend
- Suspect describes relationship, last moments with murder victim in recordings played at trial
- Tears in courtroom as detective breaks down evidence in Maui murder trial
- Portion of redacted recording accidentally plays during Maui murder trial
- Victim’s sisters take the stand on Maui murder trial day 10
- Sister describes finding Maui murder victim’s clothes, personal items during search
- Steven Capobianco found guilty in death of pregnant ex-girlfriend
In January, the jury agreed Capobianco should be eligible for enhanced sentencing, an option given when crimes are deemed especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel.