by Mindy Aguon
Guam - A defense motion filed in the case of Chad Desoto has delayed the trial. Defense has asked the court for an expert witness to review Desoto's forensic evaluation that was conducted by a court appointed psychologist.
Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola has taken Desoto's motion for an expert witness under advisement. Desoto is being held behind bars for killing three people and injuring eleven others during the tragedy in Tumon back in February. He pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness, disease or defect. A forensic evaluation of Desoto's mental state was conducted by Dr. Michael Kim but the defense wants the court's approval for an expert to review the evidence particular the psychological evaluation that was conducted on Desoto. The results have been sealed, or kept private, at the request of the defense and won't come out until the trial.
The court heard arguments on the defense motion for an expert, but in a closed courtroom. Judge Sukola said, "Because you had requested the initial psychological evaluation be sealed you asked the court to seal the hearing of this motion?", which Miller confirmed. Her honor then said, "In defense of your client, this is information that will not be given out yet until trial, is that correct?" Miller replied, "That's correct."
The government, we should note, opposes the defense's request. When the courtroom reopened to the public, the judge indicated that she had taken the motion under advisement and a decision would be rendered expeditiously within 90 days.
The defense meanwhile has received all of the government's videos of the crime scene as well as autopsy reports and emergency room medical records. They continue to wait for additional information that was retrieved by the FBI from Desoto's seized laptop and iPad. Assistant attorney general Gerald Henderson stated, "I believe there are texts, any phone texts which I don't think we've pulled I'll have it checked and we'll address with Mr. Miller next week and...the defense has requested to view the physical evidence and we made that request today."
The judge indicated that she will schedule a further proceedings hearing once she issues her decision on the defense motion for an expert witness.