WAILUKU - A man charged with murder in the disappearance of a missing pregnant woman is being held without bail, after a judge Thursday granted the prosecution's request.
Steven Capobianco, 24, of Lahaina has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder of his ex-girlfriend Carly "Charli" Scott and third-degree arson of her vehicle between Feb. 9 and 13.
Capobianco's bail had been set at $2 million, but First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rivera sought to have the defendant held without bail. He said the request was based on the murder charge, as well as an allegation "where the victim's family at this time does feel threatened by an act committed by this defendant."
Steven Capobianco talks with Deputy Public Defender Shelly Miyashiro during a 2nd Circuit Court hearing Thursday morning.
The Maui News / LILA FUJIMOTO photo
On June 15, Capobianco sent a Snapchat message to the cellphone of Scott's teenage sister, "who is a prospective witness against defendant," Rivera said in his motion to have Capobianco jailed without bail.
The message "was threatening in nature," Rivera said.
The message said "Somebody is about to get shot" in white lettering against a black background, according to Rivera's motion. A bright red dot resembling a firearms laser sight was positioned just above the white lettering, according to the motion.
When the message was received, "Charli Scott's minor sister and members of her family were instantly placed in fear for their safety and immediately reported what they perceived to be a serious threat," according to Rivera's motion.
At the time, Capobianco had been released on bail in a Haiku burglary case.
An investigation is continuing into the alleged threat involving the Snapchat message, which was sent to at least five people, according to police.
In court Thursday, Rivera said that, if convicted of second-degree murder, Capobianco faces imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole, based on special circumstances. The indictment against Capobianco alleges he caused Scott's death "in an especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel manner, manifesting exceptional depravity."
A source close to the investigation has said that Scott's jawbone was found in a secluded area between two small bays along Hana Highway. The discovery of the jawbone, identified as Scott's through dental records, was a key piece of evidence that led to her disappearance being investigated as a murder, the source said.
In court Thursday, Deputy Public Defender Shelly Miyashiro lodged an objection to the prosecution's request to hold Capobianco without bail.
With the defense presenting no evidence to counter the prosecution, 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza granted the prosecution's request and ordered that Capobianco be held without bail.
Scott, a 27-year-old Makawao resident, was five months pregnant when family members last saw her at her sister's home in Haiku the night of Feb. 9. That night, she reportedly received a call from Capobianco, asking if she would drive him to Keanae so he could fix his truck, which had broken down there.
Family members said Capobianco is the father of Scott's unborn son, Joshua.
After her disappearance, Scott's dog was found in Nahiku, and her burned 1994 Toyota 4Runner was found Feb. 12 in Peahi, near the "Jaws" surfing spot.
In court Thursday, Capobianco was cleanshaven and had shorter hair than when he was arrested. He was wearing a neck brace after being injured in July when he was assaulted by another inmate, in what officials called a case of mistaken identity.
Police said Capobianco was sitting at a table and eating in the Maui Community Correctional Center cafeteria when another inmate - a 28-year-old Molokai man - ran from his cell toward Capobianco and used a walking cane to hit Capobianco. He fell to the ground and hit his head, police said.
Capobianco reportedly had been mistaken for Molokai inmate Marlin Lavoie, who also appeared in court Thursday morning.
A trial for Lavoie, which had been set to begin Aug. 25, was delayed until Feb. 2 to give the defense more time to prepare.
Lavoie, 33, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and firearms charges in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend on March 20, 2013.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at email@example.com.