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Vicente Hilario murder trial set for January

LIHU‘E — Vicente Hilario’s first trial for the execution-style killing of a state’s witness at Anahola Beach Park began on Jan. 8, 2013.

His second trial for the same crime is now set to begin 10 years later, on Jan. 9, 2023.

At his first trial, Hilario was convicted of murder in the first degree, retaliating against a witness, intimidating a witness, and bribery of a witness, for the killing of Aureo Moore, for which he was later sentenced to life in prison.

But the conviction was remanded for a new trial in 2017 when the state Intermediate Court of Appeals ruled that his right to meaningfully participate in his defense was impeded when the court denied his request to approach the bench during jury selection.

Hilario, now 36, will be serving as his own attorney in the second run of his trial, a role he took on in October in order to speed up the legal process after multiple attorneys dropped his case, citing breakdowns in the attorney-client relationship.

The defendant appeared in court in a gray Kaua‘i Community Correctional Center jumpsuit on Monday, carrying a notepad and a law book from the correctional center’s library. He reiterated his hope for a trial to commence as quickly as possible.

The case has been progressing slowly because the discovery (information about the witnesses and evidence to be presented at trial) needed to be redacted by the prosecutors before it could be are presented to Hilario due to privacy concerns.

With Prosecutor Todd Dickenson reporting that all discovery would be delivered within the next week, Fifth Circuit Chief Judge Randal Valenciano announced jury selection would be set for Jan. 9.

Hilario covered old ground with Valenciano on Monday, as he continued an ongoing dispute with the court over hiring a private investigator to assist in the case.

Valenciano reported the court had attempted to contact a private investigator who Hilario’s previous attorney had worked with in the past, but were unable to reach him. Hilario expressed opposition to rehiring this investigator, and reiterated his hope that the court hire two unlicensed individuals to work on his behalf, which Valenciano shot down.

Hilario also brought up his frustration that the court had not provided subpoena forms for him.

“I’m incarcerated, your honor, so I can’t walk to an office to get these forms,” said Hilario.

“You’ve made a decision to represent yourself, and I’ve told you on multiple occasions that I’m willing to revisit that,” said Valenciano.

“Where am I going to get these forms?” asked Hilario. “Because there’s shackles on my ankles right now … is this court denying my subpoena process?”

“You’re going to work with the jail administration on that,” said Valenciano.

“OK,” said Hilario. “Well then that’s it.”

Hilario’s last trial concluded after approximately two months.

Prosecutors alleged Hilario bribed a woman with pills to arrange a meeting with Moore at Anahola Beach Park in 2010, where he shot him six times. Hilario has maintained his innocence.

Moore was set to testify against Hilario and another man in a stick-up drug robbery that took place in the parking lot of the Safeway supermarket in Kapa‘a earlier in 2010. Hilario faces additional drug and gun charges stemming from the robbery.


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

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