DeSoto trial jurors will take Tumon field trip to site of incident
Guam - If surveillance footage, photos, and witness testimony aren't enough to bring the horrific events of February 12, 2013 back to life, jurors will be taking a field trip to the scene.
Before proceedings today, Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola granted prosecution's motion to pay a site visit to Pleasure Island in Tumon - the scene where defendant Chad DeSoto drove his Toyota Yaris through the sidewalk hitting everyone in his path before crashing into the ABC Store, getting out of the car, and stabbing others at random.
Until Friday's fieldtrip, jurors continued to hear more testimony from first responders that night - some of whom conducted initial interviews with victims and others like Officer TJ who Salas, were assigned to make the main crime scene sketch.
As Salas took the stand, he described some of the knives found on the scene - three of which were outside the vehicle and others still inside the car.
"I believe there's what appears to be a blade there on the rear passenger side," he stated.
Salas says although the weapons appear to be your typical kitchen knives, with blades as long as ten inches, caused serious damage to those DeSoto attacked that night.
Also found on the scene Salas reports an array of items strewn about the sidewalk including a baby stroller, slippers, and a headlight.
The most disturbing of evidence however was the Toyota Yaris - totaled from the impact into the ABC Store wall, Salas points at a photo of the cracked windshield where pieces of human flesh and hair are visible.
Also called to the stand were employees from nearby shops working that night, including Gucci employee Kazumi Sala, ABC Store employee Gedi Rivera, and Godiva employee Frankie Susuico. All three retreated to safety when they realized that the loud bang they heard wasn't a car accident.
Susuico said, "I remember hearing crying, screaming. Then I saw him stab the old lady with his right hand in a downward motion. Then the lady immediately dropped down to the ground."
In addition to today's testimonies, the court denied defense's motion to allow DeSoto to attend his grandfather's funeral.
The court noted that prosecution has also opposed the motion.
Judge Sukola announced, "The people argue that in light of the fact that the defendant is already facing possible mandatory life sentence without parole if convicted, the defendant faces no additional punishment or consequences if he chooses to engage in violence. Furthermore, the people are concerned that given the high publicity of this case that security of the Palauan Evangelical Church may be a significant issue. Lastly, the people argue that the defendant has expressed concerns that he might hurt or kill members of his family."
The court adds that DeSoto should not attend the funeral because family members are also slated to take the stand later in the trial.
Trial will continue tomorrow with more testimony from prosecution at 10 a.m. prosecution anticipates to call on medical examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola.