Closing arguments presented in machete attack trial

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Closing arguments began Friday in the Mangilao machete attack trial.

After three days of listening to witness testimony and looking at evidence, it is now up to the jury to render a decision in the Mangilao machete attack case.

Closing arguments began Friday with prosecuting attorney Shawn Brown telling jurors that Emmanuel Reselap and Jordan Rachulap can’t hide behind intoxication or self-defense.

Brown stated “Behavior that we see that day … there is no excuse for the violence we saw no matter what Tekker and Rudolph say … there is no excuse for it..”

Brown repeatedly pointed out that Reselap wanted to kill the victim Erson Reselap and contended that the proof is in the surveillance video. The video depicts Emmanuel going to his car and retrieving a machete. It is in this moment that Brown says Reselap decided to commit attempted murder and aggravated assault and that it wasn’t a reckless act.

The motive, according to Brown, was that Erson had knocked out Emmanuel. “He was angry, people were telling him to leave and he just got knocked out and lost a fight in front of all his boys,” Brown said.

Brown also pointed out that there were other crimes that may have been committed that day by various actors but asked the jury to not focus on that. He said that although it was Erson who swung first, he did so in defense of his family after telling Emmanuel to leave.

Emmanuel’s attorney, Sam Teker, contended that Emmanuel did not swing the machete with the intent to kill Erson, pointing out that Maryjane Reselap’s testimony indicated that it was an accident. He further stated that Erson did not want to pursue charges against Emmanuel and that he loves him.

Jordan Rachulap’s attorney, Gloria Rudolph, argued that her client must be acquitted of the charges as the government failed to prove that her client terrorized victims in the case.

“Assumptions are not proof…holding the government to their burden of proof requires throwing this charge out,” Rudolph said.

She further argued that there was no evidence of criminal mischief by her client, stating that when it comes to victim Tolensru, the government did not prove its case.

“There’s no evidence that a machete or rock was used by Jordan Rachulap. The gov showed you a damaged car … but could not tell if it was fresh. Once again the government is asking you to assume,” Rudolph said.

Following closing arguments, the jury received their instructions. Tuesday will be the first day of full deliberations in the case.

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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.