Attorneys of Wahiawa man charged with murder plan to contest validity of client’s statements

Local News

The man accused of killing his girlfriend pleaded not guilty in court on Tuesday, and his attorneys said they plan to fight the charges.

Kaniala Avilla-Rapoza, 21, is charged with the murder of 19-year-old Nelibeth Albert. According to court documents, Rapoza admitted to police he choked her and lead them to her body. His attorneys said they will contest the validity of his statements.

“We maintain again that he’s been diagnosed as having autism, and as a result of that there is an inability to comprehend and intelligently waive your legal rights,” said Moani Crowell, defense attorney.

Rapoza remains in custody on $500,000 bail. His trial is scheduled for July.

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