Torre defense seeks exclusion of ME’s prior testimony, including autopsy report

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Defense attorney Jay Arriola says he intends to seek the exclusion of the prior testimony of former Guam medical examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola, including the autopsy report, in the retrial of former Guam police officer Mark Torre Jr.

Dr. Espinola retired to the Philippines last year. Chief prosecutor Basil O’Mallen told the court two weeks ago that he was having troubling finding Espinola to bring him back for the retrial.

Torre is charged with negligent homicide in the July 2015 shooting death of fellow officer Sgt. Elbert Piolo. He was previously convicted of negligent homicide in his first trial. The conviction was overturned after the Guam Supreme Court ruled that the jury should not have been shown body camera footage of Torre talking about the shooting before he had been read his Miranda rights.

Arriola also told the Pacific News Center that he will ask Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo to exclude the rest of the body-cam video in the second trail.

The motions are scheduled to be heard Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.

Jury selection continues

Jury selection will also continue this week.

More than 150 potential jurors were summoned and appeared before Judge Bordallo on Thursday and Friday of last week.

They filled out jury questionnaires and were sworn in by the court and then they were released.

Arriola said the juror questionnaires will be reviewed by both sides on Monday. Then, based on the answers provided, the attorneys will advise the court on the “challenges or excuses for cause” that may be raised when the potential jurors are called back later this week for the questioning phase of jury selection known as voir dire.

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