20: the number of times he apologized. 8: the number of times he called it a mistake. 8: the number of times he said he regretted pulling Sgt. Carl Cruz’s duty weapon. This summed up Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio’s one interview with a local news organization. This does not take into account the other times he admitted to the action in other interviews with media.
In the closing argument, prosecutor Basil O’Mallan pointed out, “if you don’t do anything wrong, there is nothing to apologize for. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. But you know, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the defendant saying sorry does not exclude his reckless conduct.”
But whether or not these admissions will sway the jury in a verdict remains to be seen.
The jury has begun the deliberations. So how will the jury weigh the evidence?
While there may be no question that the incident took place the night, Tenorio’s intent for grabbing the gun is one aspect that the jurors are likely to evaluate.
O’Mallan highlighted that testimonies showed a pattern that guns, especially loaded firearms, are dangerous weapons.
“Like Chief JI testified, the defendant’s witness, you only pull a loaded gun when there is an eminent threat of harm and immediate threat of danger. Well, the only threat at the Tumon Block party the night of July 7, 2018 was the threat created by Ray Tenorio, the defendant,” O’Mallan said.
During interviews following the incident, Tenorio said, “I did it for the right reason but the wrong way.” While the former lt. governor acknowledged that he should have handled the situation differently, his attorney, Tom Fisher, said, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
“Yes, he apologized for his actions and Mr. O’Mallan counted it out for us. But how many times did Mr. O’Mallan count the fact that Ray Tenorio said he was doing this for public safety? He never mentioned that,” Fisher said.
He maintained that Tenorio’s intentions were good, and that he was authorized to act as he did.
“Here we have the lt. governor who is in the chain of command for the Guam Police department. Chief said that, governor said that. He had the absolute authority to act. Chief said that, yeah. What the lt. governor did that night was authorized,” Fisher said. “He had the authority to do what he did and he did it because he thought right or wrong, he thought he had to act and he acted.”
At this point during the proceedings, the prosecution said the evidence of obstruction of government functions lies as Tenorio, in an interview, said he was sorry for distracting Sgt. Cruz. But Fisher disagreed.
“What the lt. governor was doing was actually carrying out a government function. Why do I say that? Because he was is the chain of command of governor (Eddie) Calvo. He can delegate his authority over to the police department. And in the Organic Act, he can delegate his authority to the lt. governor.”
It is now up to the jury to determine if Tenorio is innocent or guilty. While two charges have been dropped, Tenorio is still facing the charges of reckless conduct and obstruction of government functions.