HAGATNA, Guam (AP) — A Guam man accused of killing three
Japanese tourists in a rampage inappropriately spoke with two witnesses
from jail, prosecutors said Monday.
Judge Anita Sukola will
consider a motion Wednesday accusing 22-year-old Chad Ryan DeSoto of
witness tampering and obstruction of justice.
Phillip Tydingco said he has recordings of phone conversations between
DeSoto and his girlfriend, Reanne Acasio, and his cousin and babysitter,
Michele Fatovic. Acasio and Fatovic testified in DeSoto’s defense.
has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness to killing the
tourists and hurting 11 others by running his car onto a crowded
sidewalk in a tourist area, then crashing into a store and getting out
and stabbing bystanders.
Tydingco says DeSoto contacted his
girlfriend in the evening on the same day she testified, through a phone
system in the jail where he’s being held.
The witnesses face the possibility of contempt charges, a crime punishable with up to five days in jail.
Sukola admonished all witnesses, including Acasio and Fatovic, not to talk to anyone about the case.
Witness tampering and obstruction of justice are both misdemeanors, both punishable by up to one year in
Monday, Sukola replaced one of the jurors with an alternate for not
showing up to court. Sukola said she is considering admonishing the
juror or holding the juror in contempt.
DeSoto’s lawyers are
expected to wrap up their defense arguments this week. Sukola said
jurors will likely get instructions next week, followed by lawyers
delivering closing statements.