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Young men facing murder plead not guilty

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Two young adults and three male minors appeared in the Superior Court of Guam today to answer to more than a dozen criminal charges accusing them of having some involvement in the heinous murder of a Yona man.  The five people who are charged with the brutal murder of 31-year-old Vincent Bernardo Peredo appeared before a judge this afternoon in front of their own family members and those of Peredo.

The family of the late man took up two pews in the courtroom today.  Peredo's mother, Linda, seated in the front row next to her daughter and close family friends, fought back emotions of anger and grief as she watched five men accused of brutally murdering her son, answer to criminal charges today.  Directly across the courtroom were family members of the five who are charged with Peredo's death. One by one the defendants appeared before Magistrate Judge Alberto Tolentino. 

Derrick Cruz and Cal Jerome Delorie appeared first - wearing orange Department of Corrections shirts -standing in front of the judge with their hands behind their backs.  Anthony Hoffman with the Public Defender's Office "We waive the reading thereof and enter a plea of not guilty to all charges therein. We request normal discovery, jury of 12, client waves right to a speedy trial."

Judge Tolentino said, "Cal Jerome Delorie - the court record is going to reflect that you are present today with your attorney, Howard Trapp. You've waived a reading of the indictment. You're pleading not guilty to the charges that pertain to you in the indictment."

Derrick Cruz, Delorie and Zared Zermaine Lizama face numerous charges to include murder, aggravated murder, and burglary. They're accused of entering into Peredo's home earlier this month and brutally beating the victim, leaving him to die.  The defendants told police they intended to steal marijuana at Peredo's home. 

"You're pleading not guilty to the charges contained in the indictment," the judge stated.  "A request for a jury of 12 and discovery was made and those requests are granted."

Lizama also faces charges of 1st and 2nd degree robbery, and possession of a firearm without an identification card.  "The court's going to order that the grand jury proceedings be reduced to a CD and be given to both your lawyer and the people's lawyer," Tolentino announced.  "Your trial setting is scheduled in front of Judge [Anita] Sukola, April 23.  Present bail conditions still apply."

Shayne Terlaje, who faces charges of conspiracy to commit burglary, guilt established by complicity, criminal facilitation, and 1st and 2nd degree robbery, also pleaded not guilty but he asserted his right to a speedy trial.  Attorney Gloria Rudolph said, "Defendant has received a copy of the indictment and waives the reading thereof. Enters a plea of not guilty to all charges and asserts his right to a speedy trial and a jury trial of 12."

Terlaje is scheduled to appear back in court on April 2 for a criminal trial setting.

Darren G. Cruz, who is charged with destruction of evidence, hindering apprehension, guilt established by complicity and criminal facilitation will answer to the charges on April 7 during a continued arraignment hearing. The first court-appointed attorney withdrew because of a conflict and another lawyer was appointed.

The five remain behind bars on $500,000 cash bail, each awaiting further court proceedings.

Police, meanwhile, continue to conduct their investigation into the source of the marijuana that was taken from Peredo's home and the plants found near his Yona residence.

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