A Circuit judge set a trial date for a 48-year-old man charged with hindering prosecution in connection with the death of 18-month-old Kytana Ancog.
Scott Michael Carter was arraigned Thursday at Circuit Court before Judge Shirley Kawamura via videoconference from the Oahu Community Correctional Center after he was charged with first-degree hindering prosecution.
His attorney, Tae Won Kim, entered a not-guilty plea to the charge on Carter’s behalf.
During the hearing, Kim said Carter is not a flight risk and requested Carter be released on his own recognizance or alternatively, a bail reduction to $10,000 from $1 million.
Honolulu Deputy Prosecutor Molly O’Neill argued the alleged crime is “egregious” and objected to the request.
Ancog was last seen Jan. 31 after the toddler’s mother dropped her off with Ancog’s father, Travis Rodrigues, at an Aiea home.
Police said Rodrigues confessed to hitting, shaking and squeezing his daughter until she became unconscious and lifeless. He also confessed to placing her body in a duffel bag and made arrangements to “dispose the body,” police added.
Charging documents further said Carter dropped off Rodrigues at another acquaintance’s residence while the duffel bag was left in the vehicle. Carter allegedly drove off and told Rodrigues, “Don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it.”
Rodrigues has told police he doesn’t know where Ancog’s body is.
At today’s hearing, Kawamura pointed out Carter’s criminal record, which includes a 2007 federal drug conviction of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
She denied Carter’s low bail request but granted a reduction to $250,000.
Carter’s trial is scheduled for April.
An arraignment for Rodrigues, who was indicted with second-degree murder in the toddler’s death, was originally scheduled to be held Thursday, but the judge postponed it tentatively to March 4 because Rodrigues is under a mandatory intake-related quarantine at Halawa Correctional Facility following his transfer from OCCC on Wednesday.
Toni Schwartz, state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman, said, “His custody status was elevated, due to the high-profile nature of his alleged crime, and required hold in a higher-security institution.”
Halawa Correctional Facility is a medium-security facility whereas OCCC is a minimum-security facility.
“When he is medically cleared, the facility will coordinate his video arraignment and plea hearing with the court,” Schwartz said.