AG asks for dismissal of Mendiola murder charge, citing Castle Doctrine

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The Guam Attorney General has asked the Superior Court to dismiss the murder charge against Anthony Gregory Mendiola who is accused in the shooting death of Joey Zamora last month.

In its motion to the court, the AG cites the Castle Doctrine, which they argued allowed Mendiola to protect himself against a threat in his home.

In a news release Tuesday afternoon, the Attorney General’s Office explained that they are seeking to dismiss the murder charge against Mendiola after coming to the conclusion that he was defending himself.

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The decision is based on a review of the police reports which the AG said show that Mendiola was in his home, defending himself against an intruder and the Castle Doctrine grants him immunity from criminal prosecution for homicide.

However, the Attorney General said the remaining charges against Mendiola for possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of a firearm without a valid identification — both third-degree felonies — would be pursued in court.

Under the Castle Doctrine, a person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of death if someone unlawfully and forcefully enters their home.

A person against whom force was used is presumed to be violent if they forcefully and unlawfully enter a home.

And finally, if a person defends themself based on Castle Doctrine and the above two presumptions apply, they are immune from criminal prosecution.

The additional GPD investigation showed that on the day in question:

1) Mendiola was inside his home when Zamora entered;

2) Witnesses overheard Zamora appearing angry and yelling profanities outside of Mendiola’s residence as Zamora made attempts to enter the home; and

3) Zamora was shot from the front after he forcefully entered Mendiola’s residence.

Initial findings from the autopsy performed over the weekend corroborated that Zamora was shot from the front.

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