Guam Judge Determined To Proceed With Blue

admin's picture

Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

House Trial
Sukola orders separate trials for defendants to avoid more delays

By Gina Tabonares-Reilly

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety Guam, June 4, 2013) – Guam Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola is determined to proceed with the trial of the two policemen involved in the Blue House case despite the defense’s argument that the time period for the defendants’ speedy trial has already lapsed.

The court says it still has six remaining days to avoid the violation of the Sixth Amendment rights of David Q. Manila and Anthony T. Quenga who have asked for a speedy trial. But defense attorney Terry Timblin asserts that the court has run out of time and the case against the two GPD members should have been dismissed.

Judge Sukola has already ordered the separate trials of Song Ja Cha, Manila, and Quenga to avoid further delays on the case.

However, Atty. Timblin has said the deadline for the speedy trial of Manila and Quenga already ended last May 20.

Judge Sukola, however, said the speedy trial clock was stopped several times, including during the time when an appeal was brought by Cha’s former lawyer to the higher court.

Atty. Timblin, Manila’s counsel, disagrees and has filed a writ of mandamus in the Guam Supreme Court seeking an order from the justices to correct Judge Sukola's decisions on the speedy trial issues.

Judge Sukola has denied the motion to dismiss by Manila’s counsel and the defense’s third motion to modify bail.

The Supreme Court appeal did not prevent Judge Sukola from scheduling a trial on Friday. She has also instructed Atty. Sylvia Stake, Quenga's new counsel, to review all the case documents and prepare for the trial.

Stake replaced Atty. John Terlaje who withdrew from the case, citing conflict of interest with one of the witnesses.

Judge Sukola also appointed Atty. Mark Smith as Cha's new lawyer following the withdrawal of Leslie Travis who told the court that her office, Civille & Tang LLC, had previously represented the deceased husband of the Blue House owner.

Sukola has scheduled a jury selection for Thursday afternoon and wants Manila and Quenga's lawyers to return for a pre-trial conference Wednesday at 11 a.m.

Sukola expressed confidence that the higher court will issue a decision on the writ of mandamus as she advised the prosecuting attorney and defense lawyers to come back today at 10 a.m. to discuss the appeal.

The justices’ opinion on the appeal will play an important role in the case. If the justices affirm Atty. Timblin’s argument that the Sixth Amendment rights of the cops have been violated, the trial against Manila and Quenga will be vacated and Cha, who has been convicted in federal court, will be tried by herself in the trial court.

The Superior Court of Guam charged Manila, Quenga and Cha with nine counts of felonious restraints, nine counts of compelling prostitution, 11 counts of promoting prostitution, and two counts of aggravated assault and assault.

Rate this article: 
Average: 2 (1 vote)

Add new comment