Judge rules Espinola ‘legally unavailable’ at this time

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The government's chief medical examiner, Dr. Aurelio Espinola retired in January. (PNC file photo)

Judge Michael Bordallo on Friday issued a decision in the negligent homicide retrial of Mark Torre Jr.

Torre’s attorney, Jay Arriola, filed a motion to exclude the prior testimony of former Guam Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola because the prosecution has not been able to find him and confirm he will come back for the re-trial.

In his ruling, Judge Bordallo concluded that the prosecution made a diligent effort to find Dr. Espinola and he ruled that the former pathologist is “legally unavailable” at this time.

However, he noted that the trial will be long and there is plenty of time to find Dr. Espinola.

Judge Bordallo wrote that the defense is free to re-file its motion to exclude Espinola’s testimony at a later time.

Arriola filed another motion seeking dismissal of the entire case on the grounds that Torre’s right to a speedy trial has been violated.

Bordallo has not issued his decision on that motion yet.

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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.