Jaycee White not guilty of manslaughter & negligent homicide; gu - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Jaycee White not guilty of manslaughter & negligent homicide; guilty of aggravated assault

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The verdict is in, as jurors reached a verdict in the trial for Jaycee White, who was one of those arrested last year in connection to the death of bodyboarder, Brian Cruz. After only a few hours of deliberations, jurors returned with a verdict late this afternoon: not guilty for manslaughter, not guilty for negligent homicide, and guilty of aggravated assault.

Assistant Attorney General Jeremy Kemper addressed jurors one final time, announcing, "On one hand, Mr. White is looking at a conviction of a serious offense. On the other hand, Brian's kids, his family, his friends in the community, they don't get to see him anymore either. Actions have consequences. Mr. White was reckless in his actions."

Just over a year ago, friends Jaycee White, Alfredo Castro, Richard Ragadio, and Brian Cruz went drinking in Tumon. Cruz, who was knocked unconscious by White, would never wake up. He'd die days later from severe head injuries.

Ragadio, who previously pleaded guilty to hindering apprehension, was spared jail time on the condition he testifies against his friends, which he did late Tuesday.

Castro, though he started trial with White this week, was acquitted of kidnapping and hindering apprehension charges on Wednesday. Judge Michael Bordallo stated, "There doesn't appear to be any evidence other than the people who removed Mr. Cruz just weren't doing it for the purpose of concealing or doing anything - it was just as Mr. Ragadio was testifying: it was an extremely stupid turn of events where they assumed Mr. Cruz was not seriously injured."

 Now, it's just White left to face a jury.

His attorney, Randy Cunliffe, justifying White's actions - that Cruz was agitated, acting out, and instigating a fight with a bouncer from a nearby bar. Defense argues White couldn't have known a single punch would've killed his beloved friend.

"People get punched all the time. Do they die? No. Is there a substantial risk that they'll die? No. We have boxing, we have MMA. They're allowed to do that because there's not a substantial risk that if someone punches somebody, they're going to die," he said.

During closing arguments, defense rehashed testimony from the government's expert witness, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola. Cunliffe said, "He was very clear. What he saw on that video did not cause the death."

Jurors are now in deliberations.

Kemper added, "Manslaughter is reckless behavior. Someone died. We know for sure someone's dead. Mr. White was acting recklessly."

Jaycee White faces anywhere from zero to five years for aggravated assault. Sentencing is set for December 28.

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