On Thursday, Vicente Kote Kapika Hilario, 26, of Anahola was found guilty after a jury trial of two Counts of Place to Keep Pistol or Revolver, two counts of Carrying or Possessing a Loaded Firearm on a Public Highway, Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Second Degree, and Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Third Degree.
The jury deliberated less than two hours after hearing three days of testimony.
Police had issued a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) for a grey Nissan Altima in connection with the investigation of the August 21, 2010 gunpoint robbery of Aureo Moore at the Kapa'a Safeway parking lot.
On August 24, 2010, Kauai Police Officer Damien Loo spotted the Altima at the Rainbow Gas Mart in Kapaa. After the vehicle left the Gas Mart, Officer Loo called for backup and police attempted to stop the Altima on Papaloa Road.
However, as the car slowed down, a male carrying a backpack fled the vehicle. KPD Officer Mackenzie Metcalfe later found that man, Kyle Akau, hiding behind a bush in the vicinity of Bambulei and subsequently arrested him.
Police then recovered an abandoned backpack nearby that contained a loaded, unregistered .22 caliber pistol, a loaded 45 caliber revolver (which had been reported stolen in 1998), as well as 125 Oxycodone tablets and a baggie containing cocaine residue. Also found in the backpack were hotel bills, time clock receipts, camping permits, and a pay stub from Bouchons Hanalei Restaurant that belonged to Hilario.
Hilario was driving the Altima at the time of the incident, which was registered to his relative. Hilario was also arrested, and police recovered $1,472 in cash from his person that day.
In March of this year, another jury found Hilario guilty of the Murder in the First Degree, amongst other charges, for the execution-style killing of Aureo Moore on December 17, 2010. At the time of his death, Moore had been subpoenaed to testify against Kyle Akau on December 27, 2010, in the Safeway parking lot robbery trial. Kyle Akau is presently serving a 10-year prison sentence for the robbery.
Sentencing for Hilario’s First-degree Murder conviction is scheduled for June 13.
The Honorable Judge Randal G.B. Valenciano presided over Thursday's trial, and the case was prosecuted by Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Melinda K. Mendes. Warren Perry was court-appointed defense counsel. Retired KPD Sergeant Carl Oliver was the lead Detective in the case, and was assisted by other detectives and patrol officers in the investigation.
Hilario’s sentencing is set for Sept. 19.
Place to Keep Pistol or Revolver, Carrying or Possessing a Loaded Firearm on a Public Highway, and Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Second Degree are all Class B felonies that carry maximum sentences of 10 years each, and Promoting a Dangerous Drug in the Third Degree is a Class C Felony with a maximum sentence of five years incarceration.
Prosecuting Attorney Justin F. Kollar praised law enforcement for its teamwork.
"Without the partnerships existing between the dedicated attorneys, detectives, and patrol officers involved in complex cases like these, we would not see these types of verdicts. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family of Aureo Moore," Kollar said.