Defense in Quinata trial argues Sked alone murdered the former Humåtak mayor

"Joyner alone bludgeoned and stabbed Mr. Sanchez," the defense argued.


Defense Attorney Pete Santos argues the blame for the murder of the late Humåtak Mayor Daniel Sanchez should fall on 32-year-old Joyner Sked alone. Santos argues that 59-year-old Rudy Quinata was afraid of Sked and that she intimidated him from coming forward.

“Joyner alone bludgeoned and stabbed Mr. Sanchez,” he said. “Rudy ran away in fear, and when he was caught he said Joyner did it.”

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When law enforcement caught the couple, Santos stated, they “judged a book by its cover” and assumed that Quinata, who according to PNC files, has had a criminal record that starts as early a 1980 conviction for manslaughter, was the one to ultimately finish off the late mayor.

Furthermore, Santos said, “About 5 months prior to the unfortunate passing of Mr. Daniel Sanchez, Rudy had gone to the authorities and requested a restraining order [against Sked].

“When he went to get the restraining order, they judged a book by its cover again. And the authorities said, ‘Come on. What are you scared of?’

“He said, ‘I think she’s going to kill me.'”

Sked, who was Quinata’s girlfriend, was found guilty last month for the murder of the former Humåtak mayor. She faced charges of murder with a special allegation of the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony and aggravated assault, also with a special allegation of a deadly weapon. Prosecuting attorney Leonardo Rapadas argues Quinata should face those exact charges as well.

The prosecution

“He [Sanchez] had 4 wounds, 4 blows to his head, possibly caused by the hammer, very serious blows to his head,” Rapadas said, “and approximately 23 stab wounds, possibly caused by the scissors.”

Rapadas argued that the evidence pointed to Quinata’s involvement in the murder.

Rapadas also stated that Sanchez’s body was found with multiple stab wounds and bludgeon wounds, which Rapadas argues could have been caused by scissors and a hammer found on the scene.

A history of abuse

Santos further argued that the jury should consider the couple’s past, as Sked had a history of abusing men with whom she was romantically involved.

Furthermore, Quinata’s half-sister Darthea Topasna Santiago came to the witness stand, stating that whenever the couple argued, Quinata would escape to her home.

“He’ll run down to my house,” said Santiago. “Just imagine a big man would be running just to stay away from Joy because [he didn’t] want to do something.”

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News Director for the Pacific News Center, Don was born and raised on the island of Saipan and moved to Guam in the Spring of 2016 to pursue higher education at the University of Guam. It was at UOG that Don discovered his passion for keeping his peers politically informed. In his free time, you can find him flying his drone or doing landscape and portrait photography. Don joined the PNC News Team to broaden his writing, and to challenge himself to get in front of the camera. Don’s ultimate goal and passion is to have a well informed and politically engaged Marianas.