LIHUE, KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Vicente K. Hilario, 26, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the execution-style killing of witness Aureo Moore.
Fifth Circuit Court Chief Judge Randal G. B. Valenciano, who presided over the month-long trial, also granted the State's request to impose a consecutive five (5) year prison sentence for Bribery of Witness Angienora Crawford. Defendant was also ordered to pay $800 in restitution.
In imposing the sentences, Judge Valenciano noted that the evidence at trial showed the killing of Aureo Moore was premeditated, involved drugs and an effort to protect territory and profit, and was brutal in nature, "many ways like an assassination." In finding that the consecutive sentences were warranted in this case, the Court added that, "the justice system cannot work if witnesses are intimidated or bribed."
Hilario was convicted of First Degree Murder, Witness Intimidation, Retaliating against a Witness, and Bribery of a Witness after two days of jury deliberation.
The case involved the December 17, 2010, shooting death of Moore. Evidence presented at trial showed that the murder was related to Moore being a witness in the August 2010 daylight armed robbery of Moore that took place in the Kapaa Safeway parking lot.
Testimony at trial also showed that Hilario bribed Crawford to entice Moore to Anahola on the pretext of buying oxycodone pills, and that Hilario then proceeded to chase down and shoot Moore a total of six times at close range. Hilario then fled the scene on foot, but was later apprehended by police that same day.
Prosecuting Attorney Justin F. Kollar expressed remorse for the loss of Moore's life: "Although nothing can bring Aureo Moore back to life, we are pleased that Vicente Hilario will never be in a position to prey on the members of this community again. We are thankful for the hard work of our law enforcement partners that led to this sentence today. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the family of Aureo Moore."