Prosecution presents final arguments in Chad DeSoto trial - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Prosecution presents final arguments in Chad DeSoto trial

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 by Krystal Paco

Guam - It's the most high profile murder trial of the year. The tragedy in Tumon back in February 2013 left three Japanese tourists dead after Chad DeSoto drove his car down a crowded Tumon sidewalk before crashing it into the ABC Store, darting out, and stabbing people at random.

Charged with three counts of aggravated murder and 11 counts of attempted aggravated murder, DeSoto could face life behind bars without possibility of parole if convicted. The defense maintains DeSoto is not guilty by reason of insanity.

But was he really crazy when he went on his rampage? After weeks of trial, it's almost up to the jury to decide.

After dozens of testimony from family, friends, eyewitnesses, and medical experts, many have called DeSoto intelligent, articulate, depressed, possessive, and controlling, but prosecutor Phil Tydingco isn't convinced the 20-year-old is in fact "crazy."

"He had a large considerable amount of capacity, ability to know what he was doing. To know right from wrong. To control his behavior," he argued.

As Tydingco rehashed diagnoses from the four medical experts who evaluated DeSoto, he reminded jurors that all agreed DeSoto was depressed, some reporting signs of psychosis, but not all could agree DeSoto was insane at the time of the crime as required by the legal definition of DeSoto's insanity plea.

"It's not the mere presence of mental disease or defect. It's whether your mental capacity was interfered with by the mental illness, disease or defect," he said.

Tydingco also advised jurors that because expert witnesses relied on reports from DeSoto and girlfriend Reanne Acasio, their diagnoses could be flawed. He asks that each juror consider their credibility, potential bias, and motives.

He said, "And much of the opinions of the doctors, the psychiatrists, the psychologists is based on the stories of self reported symptoms that he tells them. That Reanne Acasio tells them. That's what the doctors relied on.

"They're both actors. Yes they are."

As we previously reported, DeSoto and Acasio met at an acting class. DeSoto was the star in the John F. Kennedy High School feature film "I Heart GU" and Acasio a frequent actress on the GATE Theater stage.  But what prompted DeSoto's rampage through Tumon?  Tydingco reminded jurors that the night before February 12, 2013, Acasio had ended the relationship during an eight-hour Skype conversation. Tydingco suggests that DeSoto was crushed by the breakup because DeSoto had made plans to join Acasio in the States.   According to prior testimony, DeSoto's last words were to Acasio show his actions were in fact premeditated.

"You will forgive me for what I do tonight," the tape stated.

In support that DeSoto was in fact sane during the crime, Tydingco presented 25 steps that prove DeSoto had sufficient mental capacity at the time of the crime.

This evidence includes DeSoto taking his grandfather's car keys, taking seven knives from their Tamuning home, changing his clothes to an all black outfit, driving skillfully to Pleasure Island in Tumon and down a narrow sidewalk, hitting the brakes on the car evident by skidmarks on the sidewalk, and attacking the most vulnerable of victims - tourists, specifically women and children.

"Based on the evidence summarized in those 25 steps he was not insane on or about February 12 because even with the - it did not interfere with his mental capacity to carry out his twisted plot to get back at life, his family to have people most especially his girlfriend Reanne Acasio with who he's jealous controlling and possessive of know that they and she cannot ignore him anymore when he committed these acts."

Closing arguments from defense will be heard tomorrow morning.

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