A day of chaos remembered as machete trial begins

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Emmanuel Reselap (right) and Jordan Rachulap were found guilty of most of the charges in the machete attack case.( PNC photo)

Over 20 crimes were committed the day Emmanuel Reselap and Jordan Rachulap armed themselves with weapons and attacked motorists at an intersection in Mangilao but what was the motive of the incident? This is one of four elements the government wants the jury to consider when listening to the testimony.

Prosecuting attorney Shawn Brown asked the jury to consider what role alcohol played, whether self-defense played a part, what the motivation was, what was the vantage point, where were the witnesses, and what did they see? These are the elements for the jury to weigh in considering the evidence and testimony.

Defense attorney Samuel Tekker, who represents Emmanuel Reselap, told jurors there is no way to sugarcoat the event.

“There’s no way to sugarcoat this. Emmanuel has been charged with many crimes. He is charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault third degree. We have criminal mischief terrorizing … that’s six crimes … Criminal mischief and terrorizing four counts each of that … so we are looking at about 12 separate crimes that Emmanuel was charged with. Now take out family violence, each one of those charges carries elements that the government needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt,” Tekker said.

A special allegation of use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony is attached to each of the 12 crimes bringing the total number of crimes committed to 22 separate crimes. Tekker indicated that the defense would be using self-defense as a motive for the crime of attempted murder of the victim he allegedly stabbed.

“Now the government alleged in the indictment that Emmanuel either used a machete or a rock. So the government doesn’t know what he used … that’s reasonable doubt already,” Tekker said.

But he is not the only actor in the case, co-defendent Jordan Rachulap also stands accused. Rachulap’s attorney, Gloria Rudolph, argued that the trial would leave the jury with a lot of unanswered questions and uncover many leads that were not investigated in the case indicating that it was the minor involved in the case who attacked cars with rocks, and not her client who is on trial.

GPD officer Timothy Flores, the police officer who apprehended Jordan Rachulap after the incident by New Best Market, was brought to the stand. According to Prosecutor Brown, three individuals — Thano, Emmanuel and Jordan — started chopping up cars, throwing rocks, and hitting cars with metal objects.

This occurred after the machete incident when Reselap allegedly stabbed his cousin Erson with a machete. However, during the testimony of GPD Officer Timothy Flores, it was indicated that no machete was ever located.

Instead, while chasing down an unidentified suspect in a purple shirt and Jordan Rachulap, Flores says he came across a Lug wrench tool laying on the side of the road with what appeared to be blood splattered on the tool.

But as pointed out by defense attorneys, the suspected blood on the lug wrench was never tested and no fingerprints were ever collected. Instead, the evidence remained sealed until today in court when Officer Flores broke the un-tampered seal.

Flores’ testimony was followed by one of the victims in the case, Judy Guthertz, who has been vocal in sharing what transpired and calling for increased public safety following the incident. Trial will continue tomorrow.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.