The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request by convicted murderer Taryn Christian to have the court review his case.
The denial lets stand a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling earlier this year that Christian isn't entitled to a new trial in the 1995 fatal stabbing of a Kihei man.
During his 1997 trial in 2nd Circuit Court, Christian was found guilty of second-degree murder of 23-year-old Vilmar Cabaccang, who was stabbed numerous times with a double-bladed knife on July 14, 1995. That night, Cabaccang and his girlfriend had chased a man who broke into Cabaccang's customized Honda Civic on Kulanihakoi Street in Kihei.
Witnesses identified Christian, who was 19 years old at the time, as the man they saw at the crime scene.
"We are very pleased that the United States Supreme Court has chosen not to review the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision, which determined that the defendant did in fact receive a fair trial," said Maui County First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Peter Hanano. "Indeed, this entire process has been an ordeal for the Cabaccang family, and perhaps this will provide them with some sense of closure in this long and seemingly endless road to justice.
"As with all cases that we prosecute, we are fully committed to ensuring that justice is served, and we will vigorously defend all of our convictions to the highest level possible."
The prosecutor's office received notice Monday that the Supreme Court denied Christian's application.
After he was found guilty 13 years ago, Christian first appealed to the Hawaii Supreme Court, which upheld his conviction.
In 2004, he filed a petition with the U.S. District Court in Honolulu, saying in part that he hadn't been allowed to call witnesses to say another man confessed to the killing. After U.S. District Judge David Ezra ruled Christian was denied a fair trial, Christian was released on $100,000 bond in December 2008. The prosecutor's office appealed the ruling to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which in February reversed Ezra's ruling.
Christian, 34, was taken back into custody in April. He is being held at Halawa Correctional Facility on Oahu.
DNA testing, which was done at Christian's request when he petitioned federal district court, found no indication that the other man was at the crime scene. But testing did show DNA consistent with Christian's in bloodstains on a jacket, which also contained bloodstains consistent with Cabaccang, reports by experts showed.
Oklahoma attorney Mark Barrett, who represented Christian, couldn't be reached for comment.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.