Tuesday was the first day of trial in the Route 2 Agat shooting and it appears that the Attorney General’s Office won’t be able to show the jury the gun or the surveillance video referred to in the case.
The trial of Jared Santos and Mariano Quinata started off with the Attorney General’s Office coming under fire. The AG was ordered to show cause as to why they only gave the defense the most crucial witness statement the morning of the trial.
But that wasn’t the only cause for concern. During opening statements, the prosecution told the jury that gas station surveillance video depicting the interaction between the victim and the suspects prior to the shooting was never obtained by GPD.
In addition to this, the gun discovered in the Santos’ vehicle could not be matched up with bullet fragments in the victim’s vehicle. The prosecution stated that there’s no gun but they know that there was a gunshot because of the fragment found in the abdomen of Peter Peredo, the victim.
The prosecutor in the case instead painted a picture of the events that transpired during the early morning hours of December 7 on Route 2 in Agat.
According to the prosecutor, the victim was driving a yellow Montero and the suspect a blue Montero. The government indicated that there was an altercation at the gas station and that 15 minutes after leaving, all 3 occupants of the yellow vehicle saw a blue SUV pull up beside them and the sound of a gunshot rang through the air.
The bullet pierced through the driver’s side door handle and Peredo, the driver, was hit. The bullet exited his body and shrapnel was found on the driver’s seat and rear seat floorboard.
The AG showed pictures of a blood soaked driver’s seat, the hole on the door handle and shrapnel, stating that police found a Winchester rifle in Santos’ vehicle but ballistics could not be conducted.
While Santos’ attorney deferred making opening statements, co-defendant Quinata’s attorney Annie Gayle’s opening remarks centered around the movie The Fast and the Furious.
She likened her client and Santos to Dominic Toretto and Brian O’ Connor, stating that like the characters, Santos and Quinata teamed up to protect their families. She argued that police many times don’t get it right and that they rush to judgement when they could have investigated more to see if others were involved.
Telling the jury that there was another vehicle, a blue RAV4 that was never tracked down by police, Gayle contended that the evidence will show that GPD and the AG’s office waited too long to confiscate the gas station surveillance video.
Gayle further stated that the three men in Peredo’s vehicle had been drinking and confronted Quinata and Santos. She posed the question, “who were the aggressors, the ones driving away or the ones pursuing?”
Trial will continue tomorrow.