Manabat found guilty of vehicular homicide

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The jury deliberated for less than three hours before reaching a verdict.

Guam – After a few hours in deliberations, the jury in the trial of Max Theodore Manabat, the man accused in the fatal auto-moped collision, has reached a verdict.

In court today, closing arguments were heard, painting two different sides of the story for the jury.

According to court documents, Aguero was riding a moped on August 13 when he collided with Manabat’s Toyota Camry, which was attempting to make a left turn onto Jose Gal Street near Payless in Yigo. It was that fateful turn that the people argue caused the crash and the death of Aguero.

“When there is a vehicle crash there is a cause and there are contributing factors, contributing factors are like slick roadways, solar glare, heavy rain even DUI. They don’t cause the accident or the crash, rather, they are contributing factors. It makes it more dangerous, more likely for a crash to happen. What is a cause is such things like running a stop sign, running a red light, not paying attention to your driving or making a left turn and not having enough time to clear an intersection and avoid collision with an oncoming vehicle,” said lead prosecutor Atty. Peter Santos.

The defense argued that the case was not investigated as a homicide and that the defense is not placing blame on the victim.

“The government says that I am trying to lay the blame on Mr. Aguero. I’m not trying to lay the blame on Mr. Aguero. I’m poking holes in his case. Ms. Santos didn’t give Max Manabat a ticket, no evidence–didn’t say he did anything wrong, no evidence. [It was a] non-homicide case at the time. All she knew at the scene was Mr. Aguero had a passenger on the back of his moped. Offending vehicle from the evidence at the scene, he was not Max,” argued Defense Attorney Randal Cunliffe.

After closing arguments, the jury deliberated for less than three hours before reaching their verdict. Max Theodore Manabat was found guilty of negligent homicide as a second degree felony, an offense which carries a prison term of up to 8 years.

Sentencing is scheduled for February 28, 2018.

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.