Tuesday, June 28, 2022 |
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LIHU‘E — A 5th Circuit jury deliberated for less than two hours before reaching a guilty verdict Thursday on drug and weapons charges for an Anahola man who was already convicted of murder in March.
Vicente Kote Kapika Hilario, 26, was found guilty after three days of testimony in a jury trial. The jury found him guilty of two counts of place to keep pistol or revolver, two counts of carrying or possessing a loaded firearm on a public highway, along with second-and-third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug.
Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar praised the Kaua‘i Police Department for its role in the case.
“Without the partnerships existing between the dedicated attorneys, detectives and patrol officers involved in complex cases like these, we would not see these types of verdicts,” Kollar said.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Melinda Mendes represented the state.
Warren Perry was the court-appointed defense counsel for Hilario.
The case began on Aug. 24, 2010 when Officer Damien Loo spotted a gray sedan belonging to Hilario at the Rainbow Gas Mart around 8:30 p.m. in Kapa‘a. Hilario was wanted in connection with an investigation of the gunpoint robbery of Aureo Moore at a Kapa‘a Safeway parking lot three days prior.
Loo called for backup as the vehicle departed the station and circled back around on Papaloa Road. The car slowed and a male passenger later found to be Kyle Akau fled on foot with a backpack across the highway to a concealed area behind the former Bambulei store.
KPD Officer Mackenzie Metcalfe discovered Akau less than an hour later behind a bush in the vicinity and made the arrest. The backpack was discovered hidden nearby. It contained a loaded, unregistered .22 caliber pistol, a loaded 45 caliber revolver that was reported stolen in 1998.
The pack also contained 125 Oxycodone tablets and a bag containing cocaine residue. There was also hotel bills, time clock receipts, camping permits and restaurant pay stubs for Hilario.
Back at the care, Loo arrested Hilario with $1,472 in cash.
In March of this year, another jury found Hilario guilty of first-degree murder for the execution-style killing of Aureo Moore on Dec. 17, 2010. At the time of his death, Moore had been subpoenaed to testify against Akau on Dec. 27 in a trial for the Safeway parking lot robbery.
Akau is now serving a 10-year prison sentence for the robbery. Hilario was initially released from the gun and drug charges after a preliminary hearing, and then indicted for the charges on Dec. 27, 2012.
Chief Judge Randal Valenciano scheduled sentencing for Thursday’s conviction on Sept. 19. He faces 10 years in jail on two charges and a five year sentence for the third.
Hilario’s sentencing for the first-degree murder conviction is scheduled for June 13. He faces the possibility of life without parole.
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family of Aureo Moore,” Kollar said.
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