Guam preps for spotlight on crash-stabbing trial
HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — Court officials in Guam are preparing for significant attention from foreign media on the trial of a man accused of killing three Japanese tourists in a car crash and stabbing rampage.
Pacific Daily News reported Wednesday (http://goo.gl/J6qOg4 ) the Guam Judiciary is preparing to accommodate a high level of interest in the case of Chad De Soto.
Court Director Joshua Tenorio of policy, planning and community relations said the court’s goal is to balance the interest with making sure due process is delivered. Tenorio said that’s a concern for both the judge and attorneys.
“Our priority is to maintain decorum in the courtroom so that the matter can be advanced,” Tenorio said.
De Soto is accused of driving onto a sidewalk and striking seven tourists in a shopping area, then getting out and stabbing people. De Soto faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted of any aggravated murder charges.
Tenorio said the court has been trying to be proactive, in part by giving foreign press guidelines for the U.S. justice system. The court has not set a trial date for De Soto.
De Soto has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental illness, leaving his options open under Guam law to use an insanity defense without admitting to committing the offenses.
Information from: Pacific Daily News: http://www.guampdn.com