REPORT: Vigilante justice was the motive behind fatal assault of detainee

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Guam – Court papers have revealed the possible motive behind the fatal beating of detainee Manson Ernest: a case of vigilante justice.

A magistrate report indicates the inmates wanted Ernest to pay for his crime and that was the alleged sexual assault of a defenseless and vulnerable victim, a woman who had down syndrome.

Ernest was subjected to not one but six beatings that lasted for an entire day and was also sexually assaulted.

The first assault allegedly occurred at the Superior Court of Guam, inside the holding cell where, according to police, Marvin Rechim, who also had a hearing, assaulted the victim as punishment.

The second attack occurred in a cell at the Hagatna Detention Facility. This time it involved Rechim and Benster Benjamin. According to court papers, both men repeatedly kicked and punched Ernest. After they were done, police say Benjamin left the cell, then, at the behest of Rechim, Ernest moved to a different cell.

Once in the new cell, court papers say Rechim and Albert Santos again beat the victim, this time kicking and punching Ernest in the head and chest. After being beat by Rechim and Santos, Ernest returned to his cell and laid down on a mattress. While on the mattress, Benjamin once again kicked and punched Ernest in the head and chest.

Then, one by one, police say other prisoners took turns brutally assaulting Ernest. First was Jimmy Moses Hadley, who entered the cell to dish out another beating on Ernest. After Hadley left two more detainees entered the cell–A-last Simiron and Isler Miller–who repeatedly kicked and punched Ernest in the head and chest.

After all the beatings, the detainees took their vigilante justice a step further. As Ernest laid unresponsive police say that Andrew James Bundy Rios Jr. covered his hand with a plastic bag and digitally penetrated Ernest.

It appears that those who assaulted Ernest were not his cell mates as court documents state his cell mates were the ones who found him unconscious in his cell, telling police that Ernest appeared to have trouble breathing. The victim’s cell mates told police that around 10 p.m., they tried to wake him but Ernest was cold to the touch, sweating and was unresponsive.

When questioned by police, the cell mates claimed they stayed quiet out fear they would be targeted. At some point before Department of Corrections staff discovered Ernest’s body, his cell mates changed his clothing because he had urinated and defecated on himself.

While eight men were arrested Thursday, the magistrate report only implicates seven. Jaxindo Kose was not listed as a defendant. The magistrate report lists 19 charges to include murder, manslaughter, aggravated assault and first degree criminal sexual conduct.

Miller and Simiron are being held on $250,000 bail while Rios is being held on $100,000 cash bail.

Magistrate hearings for Hadley, Rechim, Santos, and Benjamin have been continued to Monday at 3 pm.

The Department of Corrections  has confirmed that an internal investigation is underway to determine if DOC officers followed processes and procedures. That investigation is expected to be completed “in the next week or so.”

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.