Officer who had body camera testifies during Mark Torre Jr. retrial

GPD officer John Edwards takes his oath before testifying in the Mark Torre Jr. trial on Monday, Nov. 16 2020 (Photo by PNC Chief Photographer Allan Balbin)

The police officer who videotaped the night authorities responded to the shooting death of fellow police officer Elbert Piolo took the stand today with his attorney present.

Officer John Edwards was wearing a body camera the morning police arrived at Mark Torre Jr.’s residence. Prior to taking the stand, he invoked his 5th amendment right as it pertained to certain lines of questioning.

Jay Arriola, Mark Torre Jr. attorney asked: “You are present here today with your attorney Mr. Clyde Lemons today? Is it true, sir, that if I ask you any questions about you’re employment records from the Phoenix Police Department or the Guam Police Department, that you will refuse to answer those questions and assert your 5th Amendment right to remain silent and your 5th amendment right against self-incrimination?”

Edwards answered: “Yes.”

Edwards did, however, recall testimony from Torre’s trial in 2016 and 2017. His testimony centered around the body camera footage and its use the night of the incident.

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Edwards testified in 2016 during Torre’s first trial that he bought the body camera for his protection and also for accurate documentation of scenes.

The Guam Police Department, however, has no rules, regulations, or policies associated with the use of body cameras by police officers. Torre’s attorney further pointed out that as of today, GPD still does not utilize body cams.

On the stand today, Edwards broke down how to operate the body camera as well as how to retrieve the footage captured. Edwards testified that 48 minutes’ worth of footage was captured at the scene and that footage was turned over to the FBI.

Edwards, however, did not testify towards the contents of the video, or the statements made by Torre Jr. regarding what transpired at the scene.




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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.