Prosecutor gets more time to file in Guam hot-car death case
HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Arguments in a case against a Guam couple charged in the hot-car death of their infant son have been delayed after a prosecutor said he “neglected” to file his opposition to a defense motion seeking dismissal of the case.
Judge Anita Sukola is giving prosecutors until Friday to file their response to a Feb. 20 motion by defense attorney Howard Trapp, the Pacific Daily News, a Guam newspaper, (http://is.gd/wKb6RG) reported. Arguments in the matter were originally scheduled to take place Monday.
Trapp is seeking dismissal of all charges against Shawn Travis Llagas Cruz and Victoria Lynn Siaotong in connection with the August 2014 death of their 4-month-old son. The couple is charged with negligent homicide, child abuse and leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle.
Court documents say the parents both assumed someone else took the infant out of the car. The documents say they later realized the child wasn’t in the house, and they found him in the car.
Court documents said the baby had suffered burns and was foaming at the mouth and whimpering when found he was found. The infant had a pulse and was breathing.
“Shawn concluded the infant was going to be OK, so he did not call 911 nor did they take the infant to the hospital,” court documents said.
The baby stopped breathing 15 minutes later, according to prosecutors. The father called emergency services.
The baby was pronounced dead less than 30 minutes later.
In his filing seeking dismissal of the case, Trapp said the charges don’t adequately state the facts of the charges faced by the couple. For example, prosecutors allege in the indictment that the couple committed negligent homicide through criminal negligence.
Trapp said those words don’t give enough information to arrive at any conclusion of guilt.
“With what criminal negligence did defendants commit negligent homicide?” Trapp wrote in the motion. “The indictment simply does not say. It contains no such information whatsoever.”