LIHU‘E — An emergency room physician, a ballistics expert, evidence custodians, police officers and the brother of the victim all testified Wednesday in the first-degree murder trial of Vicente Kote Kapika Hilario.
Hilario is charged with the shooting death of Aureo Moore, 34. He is also charged with second-degree murder in the alternative, retaliating against a witness, intimidating a witness and bribery of a witness.
Now in its second week of testimony, the 5th Circuit Court recognized Dr. Mark Maglessen as an expert in the field of emergency medicine. He is an ER physician at Wilcox Memorial Hospital.
County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Melinda Mendes questioned Maglessen about his treating Moore, the 34-year-old clinging to life with multiple gunshot wounds he received at Anahola Beach Park on Dec. 17, 2010. His identity was not known at the time.
Moore had relatively stable vital signs but was not breathing on his own, Maglessen said. There appeared to be one gunshot wound to the head and two more to his back.
An X-ray showed that a bullet wound had entered the right side of Moore’s head and moved to the left side where there was swelling, he added. There was a superficial wound to the chest, and abrasions to the right thigh and chest area.
No surgery was performed, Maglessen said, because there did not appear to be anything else they could do.
Moore passed away around 3:05 p.m. from a fatal gunshot wound to the head, according to Maglessen. He lived roughly three hours after being brought into the ER.
Shigetomi asked if a toxicology was ordered. The doctor replied that a urine toxicology was taken to determine what was in his system that could effect treatment.
“Were any medications ordered?,” Shigetomi asked. The doctor replied that he did not, but it was possible that either of two other attending physicians could have administered medications.
Maglessen said he has nine years experience at Wilcox and is board certified in emergency medicine. He studied emergency medicine in the Army after graduating from the University of Hawai‘i School of Medicine and said he has treated many gunshot wounds.
Ivy Lee, the police evidence custodian at the Honolulu Police Department crime lab, testified as the property and evidence report expert. She said that evidence from outer island police departments is sent to the Honolulu crime lab through the U.S. Postal Service, Federal Express or UPS.
Lee said the chain of custody begins with the officer at the scene, who seals evidence in a plastic bag and then initials and dates the bag before handing it over to department evidence custodians. For evidence requiring crime lab testing, she said, is placed in a mailer sealed with evidence tape to the Honolulu Chief of Police.
There, Lee said she checks the package to ensure the seals were not broken and that it was initialed and dated by the last officer to handle the evidence prior to mailing. If everything checks out, she opens the outer mailer to ensure the evidence bag inside is also sealed with the officer’s initials and dates.
If the seal is broken on the outer or inner bag, or an initial and date is missing, Lee said she marks it with a “remedial seal” to indicate to the testing laboratory to do nothing further with the item.
The evidence to be tested in the Hilario case concerned the weapon, four bullets, several shell casings and two gunshot residue test kits. No evidence sent by the Kaua‘i Police Department in the case resulted in a remedial seal, Lee said.
Shigetomi asked Lee if there is anything on the evidence packaging to indicate the name of the person who sent it. No, said Lee.
He also asked if the package is considered out of her control either before or after it is in her custody. That is correct, Lee said.
Cindee Lorenzo, a criminalist from the Honolulu Police Department, testified as a court expert in firearm and ammunition examination. She is a civilian scientist who matched the shell casings with the Raven Arms MP-25 semiautomatic pistol that was recovered in the ocean off of Anahola on Dec. 20, 2010.
Lorenzo received the bullets taken from Moore’s body and said they were too warn to match specifically to that pistol. However, she determined that there were 25 caliber ammunition of a type that matched four types of hand guns, including the Raven Arms MP-25.
She also said that microscopic examination showed that the four bullets were fired out of the same barrel. Tests showed that the shell casings had insufficient markings to definitively prove they were fired from the gun, but that the weapon’s extraction mechanism provided a conclusive relationship with specific markings.
Through the application of special surface chemicals to the scratched out serial number, Lorenzo said she was able to reveal the original numerical stamps underneath. She said the weapon’s serial number is 484269.
The weapon was dirty and rusty initially and would only fire single shots and not as a semiautomatic, she said. After clearing the barrel, she said it fired as it was designed.
Kaua‘i Police officers who testified included Sgt. Darla Abatiello, Scott Yamaguchi, and Lt. Randy Chong Tim.
Abatiello testified to taking Moore’s fingerprints at the hospital to help identify the man. He was still alive at the time, she said.
Yamaguchi is a civilian ID technician and fingerprint specialist. He verified that the prints were Moore’s, and then had it confirmed in Honolulu.
Chong Tim testified to documenting all the information in the two cell phones belonging to Moore. He was also called to photograph the autopsy.
Chong Tim was also the officer called to photograph Hilario and David Manaku in cell block after they were arrested the day of the murder. He identified a T-shirt and XXL shorts that Hilario was wearing that day and said they appeared large on him.
The day of testimony concluded with Braum Moore, the brother of the victim. He said the two were seeking oxycodone from various dealers the day of the murder.
After nothing came through their usual channels, Braum said his brother spoke with Angienora Crawford by telephone and that she agreed to get them pills in Anahola. Braum said he did not find Crawford suspicious but thought it was odd that she said his brother would need to accompany her for the transaction “at a house in Anahola.”
After driving his brother to Kealia Beach, Braum said Crawford picked up his brother and he was to meet him in 15 minutes at an Anahola general store. He said he waited and thought his brother was arrested when several police cars raced by the store to the beach.
After calling several times and receiving no answer, he said Crawford showed up at the store and said she feared Aureo was being harassed by the police. He recalled being late for work and as rumors grew he feared for his brother’s life.
Braum called the hospital and he said they acknowledged admitting Aureo, but that he needed to call the police about his situation. Later that day the police called Aureo’s father and they both rode in to headquarters where they were told the man had been murdered.
After not fully disclosing all information at the initial interview that night, Braum said it was fear of implicating himself in a drug deal. At the second interview a few days later, he disclosed the entire story to police, he said.
Braum Moore will continue with his testimony on Friday morning.