Justin Meno died of a tumor, not from prison beating


Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola said Meno had a tumor in his throat that had been present for a long time.

Guam – Charges against the three men accused of beating Department of Corrections maximum security prisoner Justin Meno will not be upgraded to murder as his death has been ruled as “undetermined.”

Meno did not die from injuries sustained or related to his beating. Instead, according to Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola, Meno’s cause of death was asphyxia due to a tumor in his throat which completely obstructed his airway. Espinola believes that the tumor in Meno’s throat had been present for a long time.

Meno died on September 11, but Espinola was not able to release the findings of the autopsy until he conferred with the Attorney General’s Office. Espinola says that although the cause has been identified, he ruled Meno’s death as “undetermined” as the Attorney General’s Office has agreed that they cannot pursue murder charges.

Back in March, Meno was found hog tied and brutally beaten in the maximum security unit at the Mangilao prison compound. That beating left Meno hospitalized and unable to speak, however, he was able to identify two of his alleged attackers as Jeremiah Isezaki and Albert Santos II.

Further police investigation identified a third man, Peter Gines, as a suspect.

The three men are facing charges of aggravated assault and attempted murder while Gines also faces conspiracy charges. All three men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.



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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.