State briefs for April 8

Teen killed during police car chase identified

HONOLULU — The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s office on Wednesday released the name of the 16-year-old boy shot and killed by police during a car chase.

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Iremamber Sykap of Aiea, Oahu, died Monday from multiple gunshot wounds, the office said.

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said Sykap was driving a stolen white Honda Civic that was linked to a burglary, purse snatching, car theft and an armed robbery.

Officers pursued the car as it sped west on a highway and freeway, at one point driving into oncoming traffic, Ballard said Monday. The driver rammed two police cars before crashing into a fence and landing in a canal.

Before the car ended up in the canal, officers fired at it. Some of the occupants later ran from canal, with officers running after them, Ballard said.

Sykap was taken to a hospital where he died, Ballard said. The five other occupants of the car ranged in age from 14-22.

The three officers who used their guns were put on administrative leave.

Honolulu building plans examiner admits to taking bribes

HONOLULU — A Honolulu building plans examiner admitted during a court hearing Wednesday that she expedited a local architect’s projects in exchange for bribes.

Kanani Padeken, who was put on paid leave from the Honolulu Department of Planning and Permitting, and architect William Wong pleaded guilty to honest services wire fraud during separate hearings.

Wong’s attorney, Megan Kau, said previously that Wong was forced to “pay to play” because of greedy employees at the Department of Planning and Permitting.

Four other former and current employees of the department were also charged in the bribery scheme.

Padeken took at least $28,000 in bribes from Wong from 2017-20, prosecutors said. He paid the bribes on an almost monthly basis, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nolan said.

Wong said he also paid about $89,000 in bribes to Wayne Inouye, a now-retired building plans examiner. Inouye previously pleaded not guilty.

Padaken and Wong face maximum sentences of 20 years in prison when they are sentenced in August.

Murder conviction affirmed in case of pregnant Maui woman

WAILUKU, Maui — A ruling by the state Intermediate Court of Appeals rejected the appeal of a man serving a life sentence for the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

A jury convicted Steven Capobianco in 2016 and he appealed, claiming prosecutorial misconduct. In his appeal, he argued that a break in jury deliberations close to Christmas prejudiced him because it would be impossible for jurors to avoid hearing news reports or public opinion about the case.

The 2014 disappearance of Carly “Charli” Scott prompted a volunteer search of Maui. She was five months pregnant with Capobianco’s son.

The appeals court ruled there was sufficient evidence for jurors to convict Capobianco.

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Capobianco “intentionally or knowingly caused Scott’s death,” the court order said in affirming convictions of murder and arson for setting fire to her vehicle.

Attorney Gerald Johnson, who represented Capobianco in his appeal, said he would seek state Supreme Court review of the appeals court decision.