Supreme Court of Guam issues decision in Bryan case

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Mark Anthony Bryan was transported to the hospital shortly after arrest and was detained for 28 days before being brought before a judge of the Superior Court.

For 28 days, Mark Anthony Bryan was detained before he was brought before a Superior Court judge and while the Attorney General argued that medical treatment was the reason for the delay, the Supreme Court of Guam isn’t buying it and it decided to send the case back to trial court with the instruction to dismiss the indictment with prejudice.

By law, any individual arrested and charged is to be brought before a Superior Court Judge within 48 hours of the arrest and detainment.

However, this did not occur when Bryan was arrested and Chief Justice Katherine Maraman ruled that the violation of the statutory right to a first appearance was egregious.

A news release from the judiciary stated: “According to the evidence presented to the Superior Court, Mark Anthony Bryan was transported to the hospital shortly after arrest and was detained for 28 days before being brought before a judge of the Superior Court. The Superior Court found that Bryan’s hospitalization was an emergency or extraordinary circumstance excusing the obligation to bring a person before a judge within 48 hours of arrest. In reversing the trial court’s decision, the Supreme Court concluded that evidence of hospitalization alone is insufficient to excuse the 48-hour requirement and that People must also show how the hospitalized arrestee’s injuries or condition prevented safely transporting him to a first appearance or probable cause hearing, or arranging his appearance through other means.”

The release further stated, “According to the opinion, a subsequent indictment did not excuse the government’s failure to bring Bryan before a judge within 48 hours of arrest. Further, even after an indictment was obtained, the People’s continued failure to bring Bryan before a judge violated his statutory right to a first appearance.”

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