A judge sentenced Steven Capobianco today to life in prison with the possibility of parole in the murder of his ex-girlfriend who disappeared while pregnant with his child on Maui.
A jury last year convicted 27-year-old Capobianco of second-degree murder in the death of Carly “Charli” Scott. She was five months pregnant when she disappeared from the island of Maui in 2014.
Second Circuit Chief Judge Joseph Cardoza said Friday that Capobianco had lured Scott to her death. He said the defendant is self-centered for killing her and his own son because he didn’t want to be tied to Scott as her child’s father.
“That is so tragic and senseless,” the judge said.
Jurors who found Capobianco guilty also agreed that the crime was especially heinous, so Cardoza could have imposed a harsher sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. But the judge suggested Capobianco could successfully appeal that because it’s not clear how Scott died.
Family and friends addressing the court during the sentencing hearing urged Capobianco to reveal the location of Scott’s body.
“Where is she?” Scott’s mother, Kimberlyn Scott, whispered while facing Capobianco in court. “Where are they? Give her back to us. Do one decent thing and give her back.”
Carly Scott’s father, Robert Scott, was removed from the courtroom after he lashed out at defense attorney Jon Apo.
Robert Scott shouted, pointed at Apo and said he should be ashamed of himself.
Capobianco, who is three years younger than Scott, met her in 2009. They lived together for two years, but “the defendant would tell his friends that they were just roommates and he did not like to take pictures with her,” Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rivera told jurors in his opening statement at the lengthy trial.
They broke up, but Scott continued to love him, “even though she knew he didn’t care about her,” Rivera said.
When they were no longer a couple, Capobianco had another girlfriend and Scott got pregnant. She decided to continue with the pregnancy even though Capobianco insisted on an abortion, Rivera said.
Apo countered that Capobianco was starting to come around to the idea of having a child.
Scott’s sister, Fiona Wais, said in court Friday that Scott was forgiving.
“She loved you enough to forgive so much,” Wais said to the defendant. “You took away the one thing she wanted to be. She wanted to be a mom.”
Maui Prosecuting Attorney John “J.D.” Kim said he was disappointed in the judge’s findings but understood the reasoning.
Some of Scott’s blood-stained clothing and her jawbone were found after her disappearance, ending any hope she might still be alive.
Jurors also convicted Capobianco of arson after prosecutors said he torched her sport-utility vehicle to cover up the killing. Cardoza sentenced him to 10 years for the arson, to be served consecutively with the murder sentence.
Capobianco didn’t testify during his trial. He also declined to speak at his sentencing hearing.
“Where is she? Where are they?” spectators shouted from the gallery as Capobianco was led out of the courtroom.
The Hawaii Paroling Authority will determine how many years Capobianco must serve before being eligible for parole.