MAKAWAO - As Steven Capobianco awaits his Oct. 6 trial date for allegedly killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend in February, the woman's mother and a close friend called the man "emotionally and mentally" abusive.
Capobianco, 24, of Lahaina is facing charges of second-degree murder of Carly "Charli" Scott and third-degree arson of her vehicle to cover up the crime. He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Tuesday and is being held in lieu of $2 million bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center.
Family members said Capobianco is the father of Scott's unborn child.
Kimberlyn Scott, the mother of Carly “Charli” Scott, speaks Wednesday in Makawao about the disappearance of her daughter and about her quest to see her daughter’s killer brought to justice.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
"I hope that he sits in a cell for the rest of his life, and I hope that he lives a long life," said Adam Gaines, a close friend of Scott, on Wednesday. "That's my opinion, but being in a cage for the rest of his life is what he deserves."
Kimberlyn Scott, Carly Scott's mother, expressed a similar sentiment, saying that nothing less than life in prison would satisfy her.
"There's just so many mixed emotions about it, but primarily I think it's very overridingly painful to see him like this," Kimberlyn Scott said of Capobianco. "It's not pleasant. It's not what any of us wanted. I think that's pretty hard to see, but I'm very glad the way things are moving in the way they are."
Sitting outside the Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center in Makawao, the mother reflected on her and other family members' relationships with Capobianco, who she believes is guilty.
Capobianco was the last to see Carly Scott, a 27-year-old Makawao resident who was five months pregnant, before she disappeared the night of Feb. 9. Family members said she received a call that night from him, asking if she would drive him to Keanae so he could fix his truck, which had broken down there.
Carly Scott had been with her three sisters at one of their residences in Haiku when she received the call and left, but told her sisters she was heading home.
"We all went to bed blissfully ignorant that night," Kimberlyn Scott said.
When Carly Scott failed to return any phone calls or texts from friends and family throughout the next day, her mother said she knew something was wrong.
"At that point, I was scared and thinking what if she passed out in the shower or something and nobody would know," Kimberlyn Scott said. "And she's pregnant. I got panicky."
Kimberlyn Scott's youngest daughter, Phaedra Wais, was closest to Carly Scott and accompanied her mother to their missing loved one's house. After not finding her or her sport utility vehicle, they called police and asked each other "who else would she be with that she wouldn't tell us."
"We both said his name at the same time: Steven," Kimberlyn Scott said. "We didn't like him particularly so Charli learned to keep that part of her world quiet."
Capobianco first met Carly Scott about six years ago, while the two were working at Mana Foods in Paia, Kimberlyn Scott said. She said they immediately "hit it off," but she only saw them as friends because he was already dating someone.
"But she made it clear that she liked him and when he and his girlfriend split up they got together," she said. "They were together for three years, living together. He tries to illegitamize it, but she was paying all the bills and he was living in the house. They were sleeping in the same room. They were together."
Kimberlyn Scott said the relationship seemed "very serious" to her and that Capobianco was invited to family dinners, though, he quickly fell out of favor.
"He tends to rub people the wrong way - if they're a parental figure, he's very disrespectful and just doesn't treat people well," she said.
While Capobianco showed no physical abuse of Carly, his "tone and words" were disrespectful, Gaines said.
"He treated her like his servant," he said. "He ordered her around and kind of used Charli. He used her."
When Capobianco began dating Carly, Gaines said he and his wife became close with the pair and invited them to their wedding. He said he considered him a "brother," lived with him at his residence for about a year, and that he was helping him with his rough personal life.
"His dad wasn't in the picture at all and his mom was abusive and a drug addict, and died a year and a half ago," he said. "I tried to help Steven. I didn't have the roughest upbringing but I had been through some stuff so I thought maybe I could give him some perspective and turn his life around."
Both Kimberlyn Scott and Gaines found it odd that Capobianco declined to be photographed with Carly Scott anywhere and regularly denounced their relationship.
Kimberlyn Scott said that at a luau with all of her daughters and their boyfriends, she took photos of every couple - except Carly Scott and Capobianco.
"I tell her he was a gigolo," she said.
Capobianco had a couple of conversations with Gaines about Carly Scott's baby and that he was "warming to the idea" of being a father, but it remained impersonal.
"I don't know if I believe a word that guy ever told me now," he said.
Since her disappearance, family members have continued to search for Carly Scott and even started the group Maui Search and Rescue to assist with other missing person cases in Maui County. Kimberlyn Scott, who helped start the approximately 50-member group, said it has received accreditation from the U.S. Coast Guard's National Search and Rescue School, and it is conducting regular searches for Carly Scott and nearly a dozen other people with missing person reports that trace back to 1995.
Among those people missing is Moreira "Mo" Monsalve, 46, a mother of three, who disappeared a month before Carly Scott. Extensive searches around the island have been conducted but have not turned up the woman.
"I have 15 mothers who are calling me regularly," Kimberlyn Scott said. "It's an exclusive club, which you pay a really high price to get into. I think the (murder charge) was a win for all of us, but there's still a lot of people missing.
"I will find my daughter; it's not a matter of hoping. I will find her or I will die trying."
* Chris Sugidono can be reached at email@example.com.