Jury in rape trial may have been exposed to media reports, defense argues


Guam – Has an “erroneous media report” tainted the jury in the trial of accused rapist Austin Barcinas? Defense Attorney Rocky Kingree believes it is a possibility.

In a motion before the court Kingree requests that the jurors be polled and voir dired to determine whether they were exposed to a media report which could be a violation of sixth amendment rights to a fair trial.

In the motion, it states that a headline used in a local media report could possibly sway jurors into believing that the defense attorney told a witness to leave before the prosecution could call her to the stand, an incident that the defense maintains never occurred.

The motion says that “the jury by accidentally seeing the news headline may believe that Rocky Kingree was very concerned about the prosecution bringing the defendant’s girlfriend back on the stand.”

Kingree further points out that the trial has been heavily covered by local media and “these articles pop up everywhere and all it takes is a headline.”

Closing arguments are set for Tuesday.

SOURCEJolene Toves
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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.