Shooter will plead guilty, but his family says he’s innocent - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Shooter will plead guilty, but his family says he’s innocent

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A deal is reached. Joseph Sagdal is set to enter a guilty plea in the 2017 double homicide in Harmon that claimed the lives of Brokey Thamaso and A.V. Mwarecheong. But, the defendant's family argues he's an innocent man.

He was indicted on two counts of aggravated murder. And it seems Sagdal is going for the government's plea agreement.

It was in December of last year near the Hemlani apartments in Harmon, Sagdal, a shooting instructor, claims he was hit in the face with a slingshot for unknown reasons. He chased down his attackers with his gun in hand.

Shots were fired, bullets hitting and killing Brokey Thamaso and A.V. Mwarecheong.

"Yes he did commit something but it was forced upon him to commit that crime," said William Schunter, adding that Sagdal is his future son in law. "It's a very stressful situation."

He walked out of the courthouse Tuesday morning clearly upset.

"He is innocent," Schunter said. "They shot at him. What would you do if you got shot in the face?"

Sagdal has been detained for nearly a year, held on a half a million dollars cash bail.

"I feel he is being railroaded by the government," Schunter said. "It's not right. We got people that did murder and they are still out at their house pending an appeal. They won't even let him out even with Mr. Lujan's help with putting the bail money out."

Defense attorney David Lujan made repeated attempts to get his client out of jail. The court has since denied his motion to post property in lieu of the $500,000 cash bail.

"We would've put up our house and land, even the mother would've put up her house and land to help him but it's not enough, but with Mr. Lujan's help it was more than enough," Schunter said. "We don't know what happened."

Specifics of the plea deal have not yet been made public.

Schunter, however, shares the few details he's learned.

"They are offering him a plea deal so he can get out of jail within 10 years or something," he said. "And that's not right because anybody in their right mind would rather take the plea deal then spend their life behind bars. They are offering a plea agreement for manslaughter. If they are going to offer a plea agreement for manslaughter then he must be innocent. So why would you even consider manslaughter if you know its murder."

Sagdal has since asserted self-defense. He also gave a written statement to police admitting, "I felt as though I shouldn't have used my gun in this situation, but I was afraid for my life. I regret not resolving this another way."

So, why take the government's deal instead of fighting it at trial?

"So he would have a chance to come out and see the rest of his life," Schunter said. "This boy was going to college and everything else you know."

Schunter hopes it's ultimately a good deal for Sagdal. He's back in court Thursday morning for his change of plea hearing.

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