Mark Torre Jr. wants trial to continue

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Mark Torre Jr. was first charged with the shooting death of fellow police officer Elbert Piolo in 2015. His case has now gone before the Supreme Court twice, with the high court reversing the convictions and remanding the case back to the lower court for a second trial. (PNC file photo)

After several failed attempts to have his case dismissed, Mark Torre Jr. is now calling for the stay to be lifted and for his trial to continue.

Torre was first charged with the shooting death of fellow police officer Elbert Piolo in 2015. His case has now gone before the Supreme Court twice, with the high court reversing the convictions and remanding the case back to the lower court for a second trial.

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In March, the trial court imposed a stay pending the disposition of Torre’s motion to the Supreme Court for Writ of Mandamus. The Supreme Court ruled on the matter on June 26, denying Torre’s motion.

Because of this, Torre’s attorney, Jay Arriola, filed an ex-party application to lift the stay stating that circumstances have changed significantly making the stay no longer appropriate.

Arriola’s push to resume jury selection centers around concerns over jury availability. According to Arriola, the court began trial for Torre on Jan. 10 and a jury pool already exists. However, the status of the jury is not known. Arriola states that at least one of those potential jurors has become unavailable.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also played a role in the delay of the case as the Supreme Court of Guam has suspended jury trials.

With this in mind, Arriola is asking the court to continue trial in earnest. He is also asking for a Zoom conference hearing to be held to request for an exception to the suspension and to discuss outstanding matters.

Arriola says that at the very least, the court must determine the status of the jurors and the court’s position regarding the continued speedy trial.

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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.