By Theresa Merto

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, July 1) - The trial for the parents of four boys accused of beating a 10-year-old girl to death is scheduled to begin next week, and at least one of the defendants is looking over a plea agreement from the attorney general's office.

Benny Chaco Santos, 46, and Melissa Ann Cabrera, 28, appeared yesterday for a hearing in the Superior Court of Guam before Judge Elizabeth Barrett-Anderson.

During the hearing, Cabrera's attorney Sam Teker said he received a copy of a plea agreement from the AG's office and will review it with his client to determine whether she will accept it.

Attorney General Douglas Moylan yesterday said he could not confirm whether they have ongoing agreement negotiations with the defendants.

"However, we are always prepared to discuss resolution of these matters," Moylan said.

Teker also initially asked that his client have a separate trial but withdrew that motion yesterday. The jury selection and trial for the couple is scheduled to begin July 7 before Barrett-Anderson.

On May 7, Santos and Cabrera were arrested in connection with the death of Regina May Guzman, according to Pacific Daily News files. The couple allegedly tried to prevent the apprehension of their children and gave false information to law enforcement officials, files state. Cabrera also was charged with child abuse for allegedly endangering the physical and emotional health of her children.

On Feb. 21, Guzman and her sisters were riding their bicycles home from school in Agat when the girl was allegedly beaten by the four boys, ages 6 to 9, files state.

Guzman died March 19 after suffering a ruptured colon that infected her blood system. Guam's chief medical examiner said her death was related to the beating.

After the girl's death, the four boys were taken into custody. All four have since been released. Moylan yesterday said he could not discuss the case involving the boys because the matter is being handled in family court where cases are kept confidential.

July 1, 2003

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