Five charged for murder of Vince Peredo
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - After nearly a week-long investigation, police were able to solve the murder of Vince Bernardo Peredo. While the Guam Police Department hasn't released many details about the case, court documents and today's court hearing revealed the motive and the actions of two adults and three minors charged and being held on $500,000 cash bail for the Yona resident's death.
Five people are being held behind bars on a half-million dollars cash bail each for their role in the brutal murder of the 31-year-old Peredo. According to court documents, that included detailed conversations the defendants had with police, marijuana appeared to be the motive behind the murder.
18-year-old Derrick Cruz, 19-year old Cal-Jerome Delorie, 16-year-old Darren Gonzolo Cruz, 16-year-old Zared Zermaine Lizama and 17-year-old Shayne G. Terlaje are charged with murder as a first degree felony, aggravated murder as a first degree felony, burglary as a second degree felony, a special allegation of possession and use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony, and conspiracy to commit burglary. The five appeared via videoconference in front of Superior Court Magistrate Judge Alberto Tolentino this afternoon.
Derrick Cruz wiped away tears during the hearing today. The magistrate's complaint states that he, Delorie, Lizama and Terlaje met on the morning of March 8, agreeing to go to Peredo's home to steal marijuana. Each of the defendants gave different versions of their roles in the murder. Cruz told police he took a bat inside Peredo's home and didn't "intend to kill the victim". Delorie told police he gave a pistol to Lizama and claimed he was the lookout person to alert the others if someone came to his home.
The defendants said they broke the door down and Peredo punched Lizama, knocking him to the ground. The magistrate's complaint states Cruz, Delorie and Lizama then began beating Peredo. They tied his hands, feet and legs. Delorie also allegedly hit Peredo in the head with a glass vase.
Court documents state that the defendants left the home with black trash bags filled with marijuana that they shared and they went to a pre-arranged location where Terlaje picked them up. On the way there, the defendants said they tossed the bat and Peredo's mobile phone. But it was the victim's phone that may have been the key to police solving the case.
According to the declaration filed with the court, Delorie admitted to police that he used Peredo's cell phone to make the call to 911 to alert authorities. Delorie falsely identified himself and told officials that Peredo "looked beat up and knocked out". Each of the defendants listened as the judge read off the charges they face.
The minors - who are being charged as adults - took time to read the magistrate's complaint and were accompanied by their parents.
Darren Cruz faces all the same charges as the others, but the magistrate's complaint only mentions that he admitted to police that he burnt his brother Derrick's bloody shirt after the victim was killed. The prosecutor said Darren did not go to the residence with the others, but knew what happened and attempted to cover up the act and therefore should face the same charges.
Because of the brutal murder, prosecutor Clyde Lemons asked that $500,000 cash bail be imposed for all of the defendants. He stated, "They went into the victim's house, they beat him and left him for dead, and as you'll see Dr. [Aurelio] Espinola, who is the medical examiner for Guam, said that it appears to him that the victim had been tortured, and we ask the court to take all the facts into account.
Lemons added that the medical examiner believed that had Peredo received immediate medical attention for his injuries, he may not have passed away.
"The court read the declaration and agrees that the acts done in this case were extraordinarily violent," announced the judge. "It does not believe that any other reasonable conditions that can be placed to guarantee either the safety of the community or your appearance at future court proceedings in this case as to each and every one of you, the court will order that you be held on $500,000 cash."
Each of the defendants, with the exception of Terlaje, who is represented by Attorney David Lujan, were assigned a court-appointed attorney. If convicted all five face life behind bars. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 25, unless an indictment is handed down before that hearing.
Peredo's funeral meanwhile is scheduled for Wednesday.