Guam – The Supreme Court of Guam, in an opinion authored by Justice Robert J. Torres and joined by Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido and Justice Katherine A. Maraman, affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court of Guam in the case of People v. Castro.
Defendant-Appellant Alexander James Castro appealed a judgment convicting him of one count of Aggravated Assault (As a Third Degree Felony), one count of Assault (As a Misdemeanor), and one count of Reckless Conduct (As a Misdemeanor). Castro was involved in a bar fight with Jarrett Dunham and several others at Club Hana in Tumon. During the fight, Castro struck Dunham’s right eye, which rendered Dunham unconscious and caused severe bodily injury.
On appeal, Castro argued that: (1) the trial court improperly admitted evidence of Castro’s participation in mixed martial arts activities; (2) there was insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction of Aggravated Assault (As a Third Degree Felony); and (3) the trial court improperly considered and referred to Castro as a mixed martial artist and role model before imposing the sentence.
The Supreme Court held that the trial court properly admitted evidence of Castro’s participation in mixed martial arts activities. Viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the People, the court held that there was sufficient evidence to show that Castro’s reckless conduct caused serious bodily injury to Dunham, and the trial court properly denied Castro’s motion for acquittal. The court also found that the trial court sentenced Castro within the statutory limits and did not abuse its discretion in considering and referring to Castro’s background as a mixed martial artist and youth role model during sentencing.
Accordingly, the judgment of conviction was affirmed.