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Eyewitness David Manaku describes Anahola shooting

LIHU‘E — The prosecution’s case against Vicente Hilario may hinge on the testimony of David Manaku, who said Friday that he saw the defendant shoot and kill Aureo Moore in broad daylight.

Hilario is in the midst of his second trial for the killing of Moore, who was set to testify against him in a drug robbery that occurred several months prior. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2013, but the conviction was remanded for a new trial four years later due to procedural issues.

Manaku testified before the 5th Circuit Court in Lihu‘e on Friday — under immunity from prosecution — stating he was present at the scene of the shooting, but was unaware Hilario planned to kill Moore.

He has previously testified that he was childhood friends with Hilario, and would help him collect drug debts. On the morning of Dec. 17, 2010, Manaku has said Hilario drove him and another friend, Jens Kyler Hansen-Loo, to Anahola Beach Park, where he dropped them off and told them to wait behind the guardrail. Manaku said he had not been informed why they were at the location.

He noticed a white man he didn’t recognize, presumably Moore, get out of a vehicle and begin smoking a cigarette. He then saw Hilario return and put on a beanie as a makeshift ski mask.

As he was following Hilario over the guardrail, he said he saw “a flash” in Hilario’s hands, which were extended toward Moore.

“I heard (Moore) yell in surprise and pain,” said Manaku in his testimony on Friday. “I saw him get up and try to run down the road … I believe he went half a step or so. Then I heard two more shots go off.”

He continued, “I saw him throw his hands out and fall face-first on the ground. I see Vicente walk up to him and shoot two more shots.”

Prosecutor Todd Dickerson asked Manaku how he felt after seeing the shooting.

“Scared, shocked, and unsure what to do,” said Manaku.

“Did you want to remain in the area?” Dickerson asked.

“I did, but I didn’t — to my shame,” said Manaku.

In Manaku’s version of events, Hilario took off running without saying a word, and Manaku and Hansen-Loo followed after him. The trio passed several witnesses on the route to Crack 14, where Hilario tossed the beanie, with something wrapped inside it, into the ocean.

They then traveled to the old Anahola dump before running toward a ravine. There, Manaku said he was given Hansen-Loo’s cellphone and left behind by the other men.

In the ravine area, Manaku heard sirens and saw a helicopter fly low overhead. Shortly afterward, he was apprehended by two Kaua‘i Police Department officers who handcuffed him and bagged his hands.

This version of events has been contested by Hilario — who put the blame for the killing squarely on Manaku’s shoulders.

In 2013, Hilario testified he had approached Manaku after the shooting, at which point Manaku hugged him and told him he had “aced the guy,” referring to Moore.

Hilario said he had not expected the shooting, and he was “shocked,” “disgusted” and “weirded out” by the news.

But the case against Hilario is strengthened by Angienora “Pua” Crawford, who testified last week that Hilario had asked her to set up the meeting with Moore, and had given her pills in exchange.

It is also strengthened by gunshot residue evidence. Testing of both mens’ hands showed gunshot residue on Hilario’s, but not on Manaku’s.

Manaku’s size was a focus of the testimony, with the witness reporting that he weighed 360 pounds at the time of the shooting. In the previous trial, two witnesses testified that a smaller man had shot Moore and a larger man followed him.

Prosecutors showed images of both men to demonstrate that Manaku was the larger of the two.

Manaku is expected to be the final witness called by the prosecution. After his testimony is concluded, Hilario, who is acting as his own attorney, will begin his defense.


Guthrie Scrimgeour, reporter, can be reached at 808-647-0329 or
Source: The Garden Island

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