Jury finds Palacios guilty of murdering Keith Castro

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Defense attorney Thomas Fisher argues on behalf of his client Joshia Palacios in the Keith Castro murder case. (Media pool photo)

After two weeks of witness testimony, the jury has found Joshua Palacios guilty of the murder of Keith Castro. Palacios now faces life imprisonment.

Closing arguments didn’t go without a hitch as the government received communication from Nicole Mantanona, a witness in the case, who reached out to the Office of the Attorney General, saying that she had information regarding the testimony of Matt Sablan and Heather Castro.

Mantanona told the OAG that she had read media reports regarding the testimonies of Sablan and Castro and claimed that they were not being completely honest.

The information was provided to Superior Court Judge Vernon Perez who had to make the decision to move forward with closing arguments or to reopen witness testimony.

Perez decided to proceed with closing and as such the government took their last opportunity to convince the jury.

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Joshua Palacios is on trial for murder with the special allegation of use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony. While the government says Palacios is the shooter, defense attorney Thomas Fisher pointed out that his client is not bald and the shooter was identified as being a bald man.

He shifted focus from Palacios, who Fisher says has no motive, to Thomas Taitano the man who pleaded guilty to assaulting Castro with a baton moments before the shooting.

Fisher pointed out that Palacios was only named as the shooter after Taitano surrendered to authorities. Before that, authorities believed Taitano was the shooter. Fisher also pointed out that Taitano struck a “fantastic deal with the government to get out of prison and put another person in.”

The government responded that Palacios wants to say Taitano lied but according to the prosecutor, Taitano always denied being the shooter and it was Palacios who, when asked, gave roundabout answers, indicating that it is Palacios who lied and has everything to lose.

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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.