HONOLULU — A Hawaii man convicted of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend has filed an opening brief in an appeal of the case.
Steven Capobianco claimed there was insufficient evidence for a conviction and he was deprived of a fair trail due to prosecutorial and juror misconduct, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Wednesday.
Capobianco was found guilty of second-degree murder in December 2016 in the death of 27-year-old Carly “Charli” Scott.
Capobianco was sentenced to life in prison for the 2014 killing of Scott, who disappeared on Maui while she was five months pregnant with Capobianco’s child.
Capobianco must serve a minimum of 50 years before being considered for parole.
The brief filed Monday in the state Intermediate Court of Appeals argued a rogue juror called other jurors to discuss the case in violation of court instructions, resulting in a previously hung jury returning a guilty verdict.
The communication happened while the jury took a week off following 20 days of deliberations and the verdict followed almost immediately after the jury reconvened, the appeal brief said.
The prosecution also failed to submit phone records that would have helped Capobianco’s case and argued inconsistent theories and made intentional factual misstatements, the brief said.
Similar allegations made by Capiobanco’s former attorney in a motion seeking a new trial were rejected by Maui Chief Judge Joseph Cardoza.
Maui Prosecuting Attorney Don Guzman declined to comment on the appeal.
Guzman gave permission for Scott’s mother, Kimberlyn Scott, to have her daughter’s remains for a planned memorial Sunday, the sixth anniversary of Charli Scott’s disappearance.
The remains have been in police custody as evidence in case of appeal.
The Maui County Police Department must give its permission for the remains to be released and a police spokeswoman said in an email Tuesday that no further information was available.