Second superseding indictment in murder case - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Second superseding indictment in murder case

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - The Attorney General's Office is preparing to take a 1994 murder case to trial for a second time, this time after obtaining a second superseding indictment against Mark Bamba Angoco. "We've indicted him on eight counts of aggravated murder under different theories of mental state, but it's all essentially the aggravated murder charge," explained Guam attorney general Leonardo Rapadas.  

A Superior Court grand jury has returned a second superseding indictment in the 17-year-old homicide case. Angoco faces multiple charges of aggravated murder and special allegations of possession and use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.

Angoco was arrested and charged for the 1994 murder and robbery of Darwin Datuin. Prosecutor Stephen Leon Guerrero explained what happened when the case was taken to trial the first time around, telling KUAM News, "He was acquitted on several charges which include robbery, burglary and other theft related offenses. However, he was found guilty of felony aggravated murder. What had happened he had to be retried on this charge because it was determined that there was an ineffective assistance of counsel with his previous defense counsel during his first trial." 

While the case was eventually set for retrial, Angoco alleged any further prosecution would be a violation of the Double Jeopardy Clause. He unsuccessfully tried to have the indictment dismissed, appealing to the Guam Supreme Court and losing, with the case again set for retrial. 

But over the next few years, Angoco would replace his defense attorney, hiring Attorney David Lujan. The government moved to have Lujan and his law firm disqualified from representing Angoco, as the firm was representing Ricky McIntosh, a key government witness in the murder case, citing a conflict of interest.  The Superior Court granted the disqualification and Angoco appealed his case yet again. 

The Guam Supreme Court however dismissed his case for lack of jurisdiction, which puts Angoco back at Square One to answer to the new criminal charges and prepare for trial yet again. Said Leon Guerrero, "We're ready, but at the same time we want to ensure that when we do go to trial that we're presenting the best case that we can that the indictment is clean and that way the evidence that we're going to put forth does support the charges of course in the superseding indictment."

Angoco, who is currently on house arrest, pleaded not guilty in the Superior Court on Tuesday to the new charges.  The court has set a status hearing for February 15 to determine how the case will proceed.

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