Murder conviction overturned

HONOLULU — An Anahola man convicted of an execution-style killing at Anahola Beach Park may get a new trial.

Vincente Kote Kapika Hilario was convicted by a jury three years ago after a month-long trial for the Dec. 17, 2010, murder of Aureo Moore, 34. Prosecutors said Hilario shot Moore to prevent him from testifying in a robbery case.

But on Friday, the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals vacated the July 25, 2013, conviction of Hilario based on Rule 48 of the Hawaii Rules of Penal Procedure, which states that the court should dismiss charges with or without prejudice “if a trial is not commenced within 6 months.”

Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar said Monday he will be asking the Hawaii Supreme Court to review ICA’s decision, but is ready to retry the case if it comes to that.

“As challenging as it is to be rehashing events that occurred so long ago, we are focused on moving the case forward and doing what is necessary to make sure justice gets done at the end of the day,” Kollar said.

Hilario’s case went to trial after 223 days, “clearly exceeding the 180-day time limit,” according to court records.

The jury found Hilario guilty of murder in the first degree, retaliating against a witness, intimidating a witness and bribing a witness on March 8, 2013. Fifth Circuit Court Chief Judge Randal Valenciano sentenced Hilario to life in prison without the possibility of parole on July 16, 2013.

Hilario was said to have shot Moore six times at close range near Anahola Beach Park after bribing a woman with drugs and asking her to drive Moore to the site and drop him off, records said.

Hilario tried to flee on foot, but was later caught by police, arrested and arraigned.

Hilario had previously tried to dismiss charges for violation of Rule 48, but the Fifth Circuit Court denied it, and said that scheduling conflicts had been the reason the trial date had been pushed back, records said.

Continuances and breaks — including the presiding judge having to attend his daughter’s graduation — contributed to the delays in the case, records said.

Hilario is incarcerated at the Saguaro Correctional Center in Arizona and is serving 10 years for felony firearms and drug charges in addition to the life sentences.

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