Grisly details of Nimitz Hill home invasion revealed in court
by Mindy Aguon
Guam - The horrific details of what transpired in the late hours of April 19 and early morning of the 20th were presented to a Superior Court of Guam jury today as the government began its case in chief in the first of two trials surrounding the Nimitz Hill home invasion. Wednesday marked Day One of Raymond Tedtaotao's criminal trial.
Assistant Attorney General Brian Gallagher described some of the grisly details of the home invasion incident that took place back in April. During opening statements today Gallagher told jurors that Tedtaotao conspired with Anthony Mendiola and 16-year-old Kyle Cruz to break into the house on Oceanview Drive.
He announced, "Mr. Tedtaotao found a woman inside that house and tied her up, beat her. Tied her up with duct tape - and you're going to see the duct tape - beat her so severely that it a pool of blood formed inside her head. She was unconscious and she was left there to die by Mr. Tedtaotao and his friends."
The three allegedly stole clothes, two laptops and the woman's purse and fled. The woman's roommates returned home to find the house ransacked. "Finally," Gallagher proceeded, "they found her laying on the floor duct tape and unconscious. They cut her hands loose cut the duct tape off her mouth. They couldn't revive her." Gallagher says police and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service searched for the suspects, and it was Cruz's mother who got wind that her minor son had been involved in the home invasion and called police.
"Kyle Cruz said everything that he knew. How that evening was planned. How they decided that they were going to hit this house and how Mr. Tedtaotao played his part. They each had a part and he did what he did," the assistant AG detailed. "This was beating with the intent to kill, to eliminate witnesses make sure there was nobody was left behind for police to talk to about who was there and who did it to them."
But Tedtaotao's defense attorney disputes that the attack was attempted murder. Sam Teker said on behalf of his client, "Number two what I'm disputing is that Raymond Tedtaotao is involved in this case." While Teker didn't dispute that the victim was attacked and robbed and severely beaten and taken off island for intensive medical treatment, he believes the evidence will show a much different story as the victim never pointed out his client in a lineup.
Additionally he said jurors would hear from several witnesses who will testify that it was Mendiola and two other men who had gone to the home to move furniture. "Another witness will testify that on the night in question, Matthew Manibusan came to his house with two other individuals one of those individuals had a handgun on that night, that Matthew Manibusan stated he went to go move furniture," he stated.
Teker says a neighbor reported hearing screams coming from the home and flashed a light toward the house. "A local lady came to the window signaled that everything was okay. The government also failed to mention that this witness saw a green SUV leaving the house with a male driving it and a female in the passenger seat," he said.
Teker said the government has no physical evidence to tie his client to the scene and asked jurors to find Tedtaotao not guilty.
Two firefighters were called to the stand to testify about responding to the home invasion and finding the female victim unconscious and unresponsive with a massive head injury from blunt force trauma. The government has indicated they will call the victim to the stand at some point during the trial, which resumes on Thursday morning in the Superior Court.