Mark Torre Jr. back in court

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Atty. Jay Arriola, right, argued that a general jurisdiction judge was not re-assigned the case as authorized by statute.

The search for justice for Bert Piolo continues as the man who stands accused in his death is once again back in court in preparation to go to trial a second time.

Mark Torre Jr. is back to square one, maintaining his innocence in the shooting death of fellow police officer Elbert Piolo.

The tale of two police officers out for a night of drinking and partying which ended with the tragic death of one of them will once again play out in court as Torre’s previous conviction and 8-year sentence was overturned by the Supreme Court last month and sent back to the trial courts.

Torre appeared in court Thursday before Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo for a criminal trial setting requesting that any bail be exonerated.

This was quickly opposed by the government who wishes to maintain all conditions set during the first trial.

“With respect to the remand, the court will vacate the convictions the defendant will be held on all bail conditions as previously the case is not dismissed,” Judge Bordallo said.

Torre’s attorney, Jay Arriola, had requested that Torre’s bail be modified. Instead of the $250,000 property bond, he is asking that Torre continue to be released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond — a request that the government is against.
“Well, until he files some papers and let me see his justification for that, I am kind of hampered on what I can say. I need to see what his basis is for that. I would disagree with that,” prosecutor Basil O’Mallen said.

At this time, it appears that the move by Torre is an attempt to be taken off house arrest. For the time being, Judge Bordallo re-iterated that the conditions would remain the same and that the modification to release condition would be put in writing.

With Torre Jr. headed to a second trial, the government indicated that the indictment against Torre will be amended in the interest of saving time.

The next hearing is set for Sept. 10.

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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.