JOEY TERLAJE’S CASE DISMISSED
The Court has made their decision on a case involving the former DOC Deputy Director.
The trial for the former Department of Corrections Deputy Director and court marshall, Joey Terlaje, ended before it even began – all starting with the absence of the Prosecution’s star witness.
Consequently, 80 jurors were sent home yesterday after it was revealed that Terlaje’s case was dismissed.
The reason being that the Prosecution could not produce their star witness, Vickielyn Teregeyo.
Teregeyo is the ex-girlfriend of former Yona mayor, Jesse Blas, and the alleged victim in Joey Terlaje’s case.
According to a statement by the Attorney General’s Office this past December:
“The former court marshal and DOC Deputy director was accused of exposing the victim to risk of serious bodily injury at a barbeque in 2017 and for ignoring and abusing his position as a government official in relation to a crime committed.”
The People’s Motion
During Wednesday’s proceedings, the AG’s Office filed a Motion to Continue Jury Selection and Trial that afternoon, intending to postpone the trial date – citing unsuccessful attempts to locate Teregeyo.
The prosecution told the Court that they had attempted to contact the witness via text message multiple times to no avail.
Teregeyo is said to be on supervised release in Saipan after being taken into custody for methamphetamine related charges.
Because of this, Arriola objected to the Prosecution’s motion.
Arriola’s Statements to PNC
According to defense attorney Jay Arriola, Teregeyo was mulling over the decision to prosecute Terlaje. “It’s unknown whether or not she wants to prosecute,” Arriola told PNC.
To Arriola, there is no excuse for postponing the trial. “Trying to text her is not good enough,” Arriola said. “Since when did the witness control the government’s case?”
He said that both counsels were supposed to turn in their witness list last Friday.
Arriola commented on the dismissal saying that it was “well deserved” and that “it’s clear that the prosecution shouldn’t have started this case.”
He spoke levels further about the Attorney General’s Office, saying:
“[This case] is further confirmation that the Office lacks leadership, direction, and prosecutorial power.”
The Attorney General’s Next Move
In a statement released by the AG’s Office yesterday, they “vigorously oppose” the dismissal and “intends on prosecuting Terlaje on all charges.”
Despite the Court’s decision, the AG’s Office shared to PNC that the prosecution will file a pleading tomorrow arguing against the dismissal.
By statute, the Attorney General’s Office may file an appeal.
Additionally, if their appeal is dismissed without prejudice, the AG’s Office will refile the case.
Reach reporter Devin Eligio: firstname.lastname@example.org