Max Manabat found guilty of vehicular homicide - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Max Manabat found guilty of vehicular homicide

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Guilty of vehicular homicide in the second degree - a jury spent only a couple of hours deliberating today returning with that verdict against Max Manabat. That conclusion coming down this afternoon to this now more than four year old case.

He will have to serve some time behind bars. Manabat walked out the courtroom today with his family by his side after jurors came back with their guilty verdict. He has been convicted of vehicular homicide as a 2nd degree felony.

The Manabat family declined comment for now.

"Homicide is when one human being causes the death of a another human being. I told you that James Paul Aguero was killed on August 13, 2013 by the defendant Max Theodore Dizon Manabat," proclaimed prosecutor Peter Santos, who says today's outcome is what Aguero's family has waited for long enough, so they can finally get on with their lives.

Before today's deliberations, both sides gave closing arguments. "What killed James was a crushed chest and fractured pelvis," said Santos, "but ladies and gentlemen this was not an accident because this was preventable."

As we reported, Manabat was driving a Toyota Camry attempting to make a left turn off Marine Corps Drive in Yigo when the crash occurred. Santos recalled testimony given by witnesses, investigators, and Aguero's girlfriend, Doreen, who was riding on the moped with him.

"He just did not have time to brake, to swerve, nothing. That's what happened ladies gentlemen. He was looking. He looked at her instinctively like hold on this is it. We are about to die. It was a look of horror and terror," Santos said.

Defense attorney Randy Cunliffe, said, "The government says I am trying to lay the blame on Mr. Aguero. I'm not. I'm poking holes in his case."  Cunliffe also spoke about testimony given during the trial by one of the responding police officers. "All she knew at that time at the scene was Mr. Aguero had a passenger on the back of his moped. He was committing a traffic violation. The government says no he (Manabat) was but from the evidence we know at the scene he (Aguero) was. Not Max. What did we find out later. After the autopsy was done it turned out Mr. Aguero had a blood alcohol level of 0.116."

Cunliffe added, "I'm not here to blame anybody. This was an unfortunate accident."

Despite that argument, the jury came back with their decision of guilty. Manabat faces one to eight years in prison for the vehicular homicide conviction.

Sentencing is set for February 28.

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