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Accused murderer Agababa went broke trying to prove his innocence

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It's a murder trial, but it was money talk in Judge Maria Cenzon's courtroom this morning. Allan Agababa was tried last year, accused of killing his mother to collect over $850,000 in her death benefits.

Because the jury was at odds as to whether he committed the crime, the court rendered a mistrial. Now, Agababa is scheduled to face a new set of jurors. But it looks like he broke the bank trying to prove his innocence the first time around.

"His financial resources from family are exhausted, so he is indigent and as an indigent defendant he is entitled to certain financial assistance," argued Attorney Curtis Van De Veld on behalf of his client, murder suspect Agababa. On Tuesday, the defense made motions relative to getting the court to front the cost of expert witness, Dr. Joseph Cohen, a forensic pathologist who took the stand on the defense's behalf last year.

"In his first trial, Dr. Joseph Cohen, who was retained for the defense provided some testimony relative to the findings of Dr. [Aurelio] Espinola the Guam medical examiner and contradicted the accuracy of Dr. Espinola's findings," Van De Veld added. Although the court granted $1,500, the defense will have to apply with the administrator of the courts for the remaining balance. "Dr. Cohen has indicated that his services for his travel to Guam. Providing his testimony would be $6,750, which I think is very reasonable and quite nominal sum of money is what he would charge," he added.

But an empty bank account isn't Agababa's only issue. His wisdom teeth are, too. "The Department of Corrections sent him to Public Health's dentist," Van De Veld explained, "who says there's a limit on the types of services they can perform and that she's unable to perform the types of services necessary for Mr. Agababa and it is considered punishment under the constitution for a person who is a prisoner reasonable medical and dental care, and apparently we have that problem with the Department of Corrections."

The defense will file an order to show cause to be served to the Department of Corrections. That means DOC will have to explain why Agababa has been refused adequate dental care.

One more motion was filed by the defense today. That motion was to prepare transcripts for trial. The task alone could take more than 30 days and will set back Agababa's August 28 trial date to later this year.

Agababa's next court appearance is scheduled for November 10.

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