LIHU‘E — First it was set to start April 25, then on Monday morning.
Now, the trial for murder suspect Vicente Kotekapika Hilario is scheduled to begin Sept. 19, following a request by his attorney to postpone because of a scheduling conflict.
Honolulu-based attorney Keith Shigetomi said he had already agreed to participate in a five-week trial in Hilo before 5th Circuit Judge Randal Valenciano scheduled the Hilario trial for the same date.
At the time, the judge said he had to adhere to Rule 48 of Hawai‘i’s Rules of Penal Procedure. It asks that the court, on motion of the defendant, dismiss the charge if a trial is not commenced within six months from the date of the defendant’s arrest. Police arrested Hilario on Dec. 17.
Valenciano granted the continuance on Monday, Shigetomi said. The trial will begin at 8 a.m., Sept. 19, and could last up to six weeks.
The attorney added he is awaiting reports, including those from the Honolulu Police Department’s crime lab and the medical examiner.
“Continuances are fairly routine because it takes so much time to prepare for a trial, particularly a murder trial,” Shigetomi said.
First Deputy Prosecutor Jake Delaplane said his office agreed with Shigetomi’s request because he has not provided the State with transcripts of the preliminary hearing.
Hilario is accused of shooting and killing Kapa‘a resident Aureo Moore, 34, on a public road near Anahola Beach Park.
He faces charges of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, retaliating against a witness, intimidating a witness and bribery of a witness.
• Jessica Musicar, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.