Capobianco Murder Trial: Man Who Found Charli’s Dog Testifies
The murder trial for Steven Capobianco continued on Wednesday with testimony surrounding the defendant’s relationship with Carly “Charli” Scott, the discovery of her missing dog in Haʻikū and her mother’s opinions of the defendant.
Day 17 began with continued cross exam of Kimberlyn Scott, the mother of Carly “Charli” Scott, who answered more questions about the events that led up to her daughter’s disappearance and the search that followed.
Capobianco is accused of killing Charli Scott, who was 27-years-old and five months pregnant with their child when she went missing in February of 2014. Charli was Capobianco’s ex girlfriend at the time. Capobianco pleaded not guilty to the charges in July of 2014.
Kimberlyn Scott testified that on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, she went to check on Charli at her Makawao residence, and noticed that one of Charli’s dogs, Zoey, was in the home and had urinated and defecated inside. Charli’s other dog, Nala, was not at the house.
After filing a missing person report that night, Kimberlyn Scott returned to her daughter’s home to retrieve Zoey. While there, she also took a dress that was on the bed that Charli was wearing earlier in the day, “because it smelled like her,” she said.
On Tuesday, Feb. 11, she allowed the defendant to take the dog, but the very next day, her feelings changed, and Kimberlyn Scott arranged to meet Capobianco at Hanzawa’s store in Haʻikū to get the dog back.
When asked why she didn’t want Capobianco to be with Zoey anymore, Kimberlyn Scott said, “When they found Charli’s car, I felt like he had been lying to us and that he may have been responsible.”
Charli Scott’s 4Runner was reportedly found burned and on its side on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Peʻahi mauka of the surf spot known as “Jaws.”
Defense attorney Jon Apo read from a Feb. 22, 2014 transcript of Kimberlyn Scott’s interview with police in which she recounted to police what had transpired during that meeting.
At one point Capobianco was quoted as saying, “Yeah, I’m going. This is getting pinned on me.” Kimberlyn Scott was also quoted as telling Capobianco, “I just looked at him and said: Do not show up at any searches. I don’t want to see you.”
Apo asked Kimberlyn Scott if she had at that point “pinned him for it,” but the questioning was stopped after objections based on characterization and commentary.
During Wednesday’s testimony, Kimberlyn Scott characterized the defendant as being “a lousy boyfriend” to her daughter, and admittedly did not want to buy a ticket for him when the family went out to a lūʻau function earlier in their relationship.
When asked if she hated the defendant at the time, Kimberlyn Scott said, “No. I did not like him. I wouldn’t say I hated him. I did not like the way he treated my daughter.” She was then asked, “Do you hate him now,” to which she responded, “Yeah, yeah I do.”
After a set of juror questions, the prosecution called their next witness, Albert “Lanny” Young, a resident of Nāhiku.
Young, said he found Charli’s dog, Nala on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, between 7 and 7:30 a.m. when he was drinking his morning tea at the Nāhiku Marketplace.
Young said he noticed the dog run out from under a vendor table every time a truck would pull up, and then run back. “I felt like he was lost,” said Young, who said he then went up to it to see if it was friendly, and it jumped in his truck when he opened the tailgate.
He said the dog was thirsty and ate some food, but said, “he didn’t look like anything was out of place, or out of breath, and wasn’t tired or at a loss of energy. He just looked like a healthy dog,” said Young.
Young said he is familiar with Nuaʻailua and Honomanū because he has surfed at both locations, and described the distance as about 25 miles from the Nāhiku Marketplace. Clothing and personal belongings believed to be that of Charli Scott’s was found at Nuaʻailua on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014.
He said the dog did not look like it was fatigued and said its paws were in good condition with no scratches or scrapes. He said the dog appeared to be “just hanging out.”
Young said he then drove around looking for the owner, first stopping at a neighbor’s house who has a similar looking dog in Nāhiku, and then at a friend’s house in Hāna who also has a similar dog.
While in Hāna, he stopped by the store where he ran into another friend who decided to take a picture of the dog and put it on Facebook. Meantime, Young took the dog home and had the dog tag along with him the next day to the beach.
On Wednesday morning, Feb. 12, at around 1 a.m., his friend who had posted the picture on Facebook came down his driveway, woke Young up and said, “‘That’s the dog of the missing girl,'” Young testified.
Young said he jumped into his truck and went to the Hāna Police Station where he spoke to Officer Jason Thompson. While there, he made contact with Charli Scott’s sister Fiona and made arrangements for her to pick up the dog at the Nāhiku Marketplace.
Young testified that Fiona Wais showed up at the location with an individual named Adam at around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
“You can tell when a dog sees an owner and when it sees a friend. I could tell that the dog was going with someone who knows the owner and it was on its way home,” said Young.
After a brief line of questioning, the court excused Young and the prosecution called their next witness, Brooke Hailey Scott to the stand.
Brooke Scott is the older sister of Charli Scott, by a year and 10 months. She first came to know the defendant at Mana Foods in Pāʻia where they were both employed in different departments. Her sister, Charli, started working there a year after she started.
Day 18 of testimony resumes today before Chief Judge Joseph Cardoza.