Man convicted of vehicular homicide seeks acquittal

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Guam – A man convicted of vehicular homicide is seeking an acquittal of his conviction and a new trial.

In December 2017, Max Theodore Manabat was convicted of vehicular homicide in the death of James Aguero.

Today in court his attorney Randal Cunliffe argued for an acquittal of the conviction citing that the government’s case did not provide any evidence that Manabat was distracted while driving, driving recklessly or driving negligently when the fatal auto-moped collision occurred. Adding that the jury could not rely on failure to yield or improper left turn because those charges were dismissed with prejudice by the government. Cunliffe further stated that relying upon that would constitute double jeopardy.

The government disagreed stating that there was sufficient evidence, upon which the jury was able to come to a conclusion and that the foundation of their case was negligent driving.

The matter has been taken under advisement by Superior Court Judge Anita Sukola who will issue a decision after hearing arguments for a new trial. The next motion hearing is set for February 26th. Manabat was scheduled to be sentenced on February 28th.

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.