Update 2:45 p.m.: Jurors in murder trial say they are divided but will continue deliberating
Communication from jurors initially said they were hung
Jurors in the most followed murder trial on Maui in decades that has lasted a half year said they are divided but told the judge Wednesday afternoon that they would continue deliberating.
The communication from the jury of six men and six women in the Steven Capobianco murder trial Wednesday afternoon concluded an unusual day of proceedings in the trial. The jury had sent a communication to 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza on Tuesday, saying that it could not come to an unanimous verdict.
“We are unable to reach a decision on both convictions,” Cardoza said, reading from a communication from the jury on Wednesday morning. “We are too divided.”
The communication said that they had taken three votes.
In a strange twist, one of the jurors contacted the bailiff shortly after the jury left for the day Tuesday, expressing concern about the communication. A bench hearing with the judge, attorneys and the juror was held Wednesday morning with the rest of the jury out of the courtroom.
The juror said that the communication may not express the views of all 12 jurors. At about 12:30 p.m., Cardoza said that he would send a communication to the jury to ask if they will be able to come to a verdict.
In an afternoon session, Cardoza said that the jurors agreed to continue their deliberations. It was not clear when the deliberations would continue because the judge said that transcripts requested by the jury would not be ready until Monday. Defense attorney Jon Apo requested that the jury continue its deliberations the rest of this week while awaiting the transcripts.
Capobianco, 27, has been charged with the second degree murder of Carly “Charli” Scott and the second-degree arson of her vehicle almost three years ago. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following the screening of jurors that began May 23, testimony in the trial started June 27. Jurors began deliberating Dec. 1.
When she was last seen the night of Feb. 9, 2014, Scott, 27, was in the fifth month of her pregnancy with a son fathered by Capobianco.
He told police that Scott drove him from Haiku to about 3 miles past Keanae the night of Feb. 9, 2014, to retrieve his truck, which had stalled there the night before. After fixing a loose battery cable on the truck, Capobianco said he was driving back to Haiku, with Scott following, when he lost sight of her headlights near Twin Falls.
Her dog Nala, who Capobianco said had been with Scott in her vehicle that night, was found the morning of Feb. 10, 2014, at Nahiku Marketplace.
Scott’s 1997 Toyota 4Runner was found burned the evening of Feb. 12, 2014, near the “Jaws” surf spot in Peahi.
Starting the next day, her clothing, green blanket, lower jawbone fragments and other pieces of evidence were found in a wooded area at Nuaailua Bay, which is about 4 1/2 miles toward Haiku from the spot where Capobianco said his truck had stalled.
Kimberlyn Scott, Carly Scott’s mother who was in court Wednesday, declined comment until talking with other family members. However, she did say: “I’m really not shocked. I kind of felt like this was coming.”