Man convicted for home invasions gets two life sentences - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Man convicted for home invasions gets two life sentences

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by Mindy Aguon

Guam - The Nimitz Hill home invasion that occurred last April made many island residents feel uneasy about their safety in their own houses. In fact, legislation was enacted to make home invasions a more serious offense and today one of the men convicted for the heinous crime was sentenced to two life sentences. 

Despite choosing to remain silent during his trial and being convicted by a superior court jury on charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault, robbery, and burglary, 42-year-old Raymond Tedtaotao spoke for the first time today, maintaining his innocence.  "I was never involved in this crime," he stated. "Yes, I assisted Mr. (Anthony) Mendiola - he asked me take him down to Agana Shopping Center, he asked me to drop him down there."

He continued, "We did go up to the gas station and from there, I don't know what happened. But you know, Your Honor, to be honest with you, I can't see myself hitting a female. I've never hit a female in my life, not even my past girlfriends or what. I've never raised a hand to a female."

Tedtaotao said he felt sorry for the victim and said he has no idea why they accused him of being responsible for the brutal home invasion.  The defense opposed the government's recommendation to impose two consecutive life sentences.

His defense attorney, Sam Teker, said, "He asserts his innocence. He doesn't accept responsibility Your Honor, so it's very difficult for me to make an argument here."

Assistant Attorney General William Gallagher asked the judge to sentence the defendant to the maximum allowed, recalling that the victim was helpless, bound and gagged and left for dead.  The prosecutor also sought sentencing enhancements because Tedtaotao is a persistent offender, who has had numerous convictions dating back to 1988. Gallagher said, "This defendant's actions on that day are the very definition of heinous, cruel and grave.

"Allowing him to walk the streets will present a danger to the people of Guam."

The victim, Rebecca Piper, also spoke before the judge, witnessing today's sentencing via videoconference as, she and her husband Sam are in California for her extensive treatment. "I was a world-class athlete before you decided to make a mess of me," she said. "Therefore, I think it would only be fair if you stay in prison for as much time as it takes for me to be 100% healed again."

Piper explained how it would take 54 years and 9 months for her to possibly physically return to normal not to mention the lifetime worth of emotional scarring from the incident. She said Tedtaotao stole the island from her that she grew to love as well as her friends and the races she participated in while on Guam. "While you're sitting in prison alone and friendless, you'll know that the girl you beat within an inch of her life is slowly becoming a world-class athlete again. That girl is going to go on to be a Paralympian and a world-class athlete again. People will remember me. They will forget you," she said.

"So Raymond Tedtaotao - this is the last time I will speak your name. There's much better people to fill my brain with anyways."

Tedtaotao was sentenced to life in prison for the attempted murder charge and the robbery charge.  He will not be eligible for parole until he serves 25 years of his sentence.  Following the hearing, Piper said she was happy with the sentence because she knows all of her friends who are on Guam will be safe.  While recovery is going slowly, she remains optimistic and is seeing improvements in her recovery. 

Tedtaotao meanwhile intends to appeal, as he expressed concerns about Teker and the way he handled his trial.  Teker attempted to withdraw from the case today but the request was denied for now.  A restitution hearing is scheduled for April 15.

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