Tuesday, December 21, 2010


FEAR AND LOATHING IN LIHU`E: The Kaua`i Police Department (KPD) has been scathingly criticized for being notoriously tight lipped regarding serious crimes.

And it’s been no different when it comes to the investigation of the murder of Aureo Arick Moore in Anahola last Friday.

But, especially now that the name of one of the two suspects has been released, the lack of background information in the local newspaper seems unforgivable considering that last October 25 the paper ran an extensive article describing how the suspect named today in the murder, Vicente “Vinnie” Hilario, was one of three men arrested for shooting at Moore during a robbery of prescription narcotics in the middle of the crowded Kaua`i Village Shopping Center parking lot.

In addition, according to the police blotter in the newspaper Moore was arrested a month later on November 22 for two counts of second-degree and one of third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug.

Yet today’s article naming Hilario was only six paragraphs long and contained no information regarding the status of that case or how he was able to be on the streets after firing shots near the Kapa`a Safeway in a brazen midday robbery attempt.

One thing that both KPD and the local paper can take the blame for in all this is the fear that that, although two men, Kyle Akau, 24, of Anahola and Akoni Davis, 21, of Hanama`ulu, were arrested with Hilario in the Waipouli shooting, only one is currently in custody causing those who can do easy math much consternation at a the potential for an accomplice to the shooting being “on the street”.

After all, although “witnesses” said they saw two men at the shooting scene, it was reported that it was from a distance and through a lot of brush.

The real explanation- one that would calm those community fears- was contained in that October article on the shooting and robbery. It says

(Akau Davis and Hilario) were arrested Aug. 24 and Aug. 25 for the Aug. 22 incident, according to officials.

During a particularly long three-day preliminary hearing before 5th District Judge Trudy Senda, enough evidence was presented to send Akau’s case up to 5th Circuit Court where it has been assigned to Judge Randal Valenciano.

Robbery charges were dismissed without prejudice — meaning they could be brought again later — against Davis and Hilario, who were picked up by Kaua`i police officers after allegedly fleeing the scene of the armed robbery. The charges were dropped after the preliminary trial, said Michael Soong, attorney for Davis.

Bound over in the case was Akau, who allegedly fired at least one shot from a .22-caliber handgun during the Aug. 22 robbery.

Aureo Moore was allegedly robbed of around $900 in cash, over 150 tablets of oxycodone and over 50 tablets of morphine, Akau’s case file indicates.

Akau’s remaining charges are first-degree robbery, second-degree reckless endangering, third-degree promotion of a detrimental drug, third-degree promotion of a dangerous drug, and four firearms and ammunition violations, state-court records indicate.

The charges are a mixture of felonies and misdemeanors. Akau has 12 felony arrests, including nine pending.

And also contained in the article is a paragraph that might just explain why the shooting occurred.

Through attorney Craig De Costa, Akau pleaded not guilty to the charges before Valenciano. He requested a jury trial, which Valenciano tentatively scheduled for Dec. 27 before 5th Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe, state-court records show.

So just short of two weeks before the trial of Akau was scheduled to take place, at least one of his alleged accomplices allegedly shot the only witness- one who, despite his arrest on serious drug charges was on the street too, indicating he just might be the prosecutions “star” witness if he cut a deal to testify... which, of course, his freedom would indicate is a good possibility.

We wouldn’t expect KPD to be doing the newspaper’s work for them. But neither would we expect to be doing the paper’s job on a crime story when we could and should be busy skewering our political establishment.


Eleanor said...

I love your job description - skewering the political establishment. At least you make no bones about it.

Keep up the good work. I actually hate to read your missives. Too much reality.


Unknown said...

I suspect that this is the same thing that happened in the Monica Alves case... The pimp probably was involved in this obvious retaliation tactic, this is the same for the Prosecutor's office. They will retaliate and abuse their position like so many public officials on this island that it seems like we live in a third world country with a bunch of power families trying to run this island like mafias. Remember Lauren Kagawa, she was murdered... Justice will prevail!