Two suspects in triple-homicide plead not guilty
by Nick Delgado
Guam - Two of the suspects in the triple-homicide case in Harmon earlier this month pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated murder and rioting during their arraignment hearing today. Dressed in orange Department of Corrections uniforms, 19-year-olds Benny Roberts and Osupwang Muritok entered a plea of not guilty for the September 10 and 11th homicide in Harmon. Both waived their rights to a speedy trial.
Roberts faces one count of aggravated murder and rioting as well as a special allegation for possession and use of deadly weapon in the commission of a felony. He is accused of allegedly stabbing Michael Pucholong near the Dededo Flea Market, after court documents state Pucholong stabbed Alferson Muritok to death.
In court today, Robert's attorney, Anthony Camacho, presented a motion for his client to be released on his own personal recognizance. Roberts is currently being held on $1 million cash bail, however Judge Alberto Tolentino did not grant the motion referring it to the criminal trial judge for consideration.
Osupwang Muritok faces charges of rioting with the special allegation of possession and use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony. Court documents state he started the initial fight at Hanna Market. Osupwang's attorney, Sam Tekker, made a motion to have his client attend his cousin, Alferson's funeral tomorrow, while escorted by DOC officers. The prosecution disagreed with the motion, arguing Osupwang was already on pretrial release for similar charges when the alleged crime was committed.
While Tekker argued his client is innocent until proven guilty, Judge Tolentino said he did not feel comfortable granting the request. Both defendants have a criminal trial setting set for November 1 before Judge Vern Perez.
The third suspect accused of stabbing Rex Nanoto outside Hanna Market, 20-year-old Vimson Menisio, was also scheduled to enter a plea today. However, the Public Defender's Office recused themselves, as they have represented some of the victims in the case. Menisio will go back to court on October 5.
Police have said the three are part of a local gang involved in underground fighting. Two male minors also face charges of rioting, aggravated assault conspiracy and underage consumption. Authorities have not yet released further details about the homicide investigation.