Surveillance footage details night Brian Cruz died - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Surveillance footage details night Brian Cruz died

Posted: Updated:

It was a drunken night on the town that turned into tragedy, and while the defendants claim to have blacked out, surveillance footage tells all.

One man is charged with manslaughter.

"He knocked him down," described Assistant Attorney General Jeremy Kemper. "His body went limp. Hit the ground."  The other, the man driving the car, charged with kidnapping. Kemper continued, "The evidence will not show that anyone took Mr. Cruz to the hospital. They took him to Linda's Diner."

It was just over a year ago. Friends Jaycee White, Alfredo Castro, Richard Ragadio, and Brian Cruz went drinking in Tumon. Though the surviving men wouldn't remember much from that night, Kemper says closed-circuit television footage can fill in the blanks.

"There is video in this case, which is rare in a homicide case. You can actually see what happened," he detailed.

Defense attorney Randy Cunliffe represents White, attorney John Morrison for Castro. Both counsels had explanations for their clients' actions. That Cruz was agitated, acting out, and instigating a fight with a bouncer from a nearby club.

White, Castro, and Ragadio would get Cruz into the car and away from the confrontation, but he'd jump out at the traffic light and run back to the scene, and his friends followed after him.

Cunlifee said, "You'll see in the video Mr. Cruz hit Mr. Ragadio and Mr. Ragadio loses his balance and almost falls down. At that point Mr. White comes up and hits Mr. Cruz one time, defending his friend from an attack from Mr. Cruz."

Morrison declared, "At this point it seems like that's a good thing. He's asleep. He's going to sleep it off previously he'd been violent and been reacting poorly and jumping out of cars, and they figured they'd take him to breakfast. And if he's up by then, they'll go in and have some, if he's not up by then, they'd get him some take out."

But, Cruz would never wake up. Police responding to a separate incident at Linda's Coffee Shop would discover him, still unconscious, in the back of a car.

He died days later from severe head injuries.

Defense pointing the blame at GPD. "You'll see in the video the police officer open the door of the vehicle that Mr. Cruz is seated in," said Cunliffe. "You will see him take Mr. Cruz and pull him out by the arm, out of the car and he bangs his head on the pavement with his feet still in the vehicle."

Defense's theory was quickly disproven by Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola who testified late Tuesday afternoon. Last to take the stand, Ragadio who previously entered a plea agreement with the government.

Ragadio is spared jail time on the condition he testify against his co-defendants.

He confirmed defense's previous statements - that the men had too much to drink and had to keep Cruz from a scuffle, but also that they meant their beloved friend no harm.

When asked why Ragadio took a plea deal, he responded, "I didn't want to lose my kids."

Trial will resume on Wednesday.

  • NEWS HEADLINESMore>>

  • Feral pigs will be removed from Naval Base Guam property

    Feral pigs will be removed from Naval Base Guam property

    Getting a handle on the feral pig population, Naval Base Guam confirming the start of a cooperative agreement with non-profit conservation organization, White Buffalo Inc. This project, which runs from now through May of next year, will work to remove all non-native feral pigs from the base property in Santa Rita. Officials say high population densities of feral pigs have devastating effects on the environment, impacting native species and causing large scale erosion. USDA regulatio...More >>
    Getting a handle on the feral pig population, Naval Base Guam confirming the start of a cooperative agreement with non-profit conservation organization, White Buffalo Inc. This project, which runs from now through May of next year, will work to remove all non-native feral pigs from the base property in Santa Rita. Officials say high population densities of feral pigs have devastating effects on the environment, impacting native species and causing large scale erosion. USDA regulatio...More >>
  • Bank of Guam merges Santa Cruz branch with Hagatna HQ

    Bank of Guam merges Santa Cruz branch with Hagatna HQ

    On Tuesday, Bank of Guam celebrated the merging of the Santa Cruz branch with their headquarters in Hagatna. After more than 40 years, a time capsule that was buried at the Bank in 1975 was unveiled and is now on display. The last day of the Santa Cruz Branch operations is Monday December 11, 2017.More >>
    On Tuesday, Bank of Guam celebrated the merging of the Santa Cruz branch with their headquarters in Hagatna. After more than 40 years, a time capsule that was buried at the Bank in 1975 was unveiled and is now on display. The last day of the Santa Cruz Branch operations is Monday December 11, 2017.More >>
  • DOE schools closed for Black Friday

    DOE schools closed for Black Friday

    Just as a reminder - Friday the 24th  has been declared a Government of Guam holiday by Governor Eddie Calvo. There will be no classes held for any of the island's public schools. Classes will resume on Monday.More >>
    Just as a reminder - Friday the 24th  has been declared a Government of Guam holiday by Governor Eddie Calvo. There will be no classes held for any of the island's public schools. Classes will resume on Monday.More >>
Powered by Frankly