Torres says allegations of bias in Torre appeal are baseless

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Guam – Supreme Court Associate Justice Robbert Torres is responding to an objection by Mark Torre Jr. to having the judge sit on the supreme court panel to oversee his appeal.

Torre was convicted of negligent homicide in the death of Police Officer Elbert Piolo in 2017 but before serving any time out of his 8 year prison sentence, he took his case to the Supreme Court of Guam in hopes of overturning the conviction.

In a motion filed earlier this month, Torre objected to having Justice Torres presiding over the matter alleging that Torres is a member of the fraternity Domino Lux, the same organization Elbert Piolo was a part of. But according to Justice Torres, the allegations for disqualification are baseless.

In his response, Justice Torres quickly shoots down Torre’s claim that the justice is a member of the DLX organization saying that the photographic evidence are of an event he was invited to but did not endorse.

“The two photos attached to Torre’s statement are of that single event. Aside from attending that one function, I have not participated in any DLX events, am not and have never been a member or officer of DLX, and have no other affiliation with DLX. I also did not know Piolo, the decedent-victim in this case, and I did not know he was a member of DLX. Moreover, my attendance at the annual DLX red carpet ball predated Piolo’s death by nearly a year,” Justice Torres says. “I believe that an objectively reasonable person who is well-informed of all the relevant facts in this case would not reasonably question my impartiality; thus, my disqualification is not warranted.”

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.