Guam – Should a judge be disqualified from presiding over a case because of an affiliation with a fraternity? If a party in the case is also a member of the organization, argues Mark Torre Jr., who was convicted in the death of police officer Sgt. Elbert Piolo.
A former police officer, Torre was found guilty of negligent homicide in the 2015 death of Piolo after the two spent an evening of partying together.
Torre is now appealing his conviction in the Supreme Court but he has filed an objection against one of the three justices: Robert Torres.
Torre attached numerous supporting documents indicating that Torres is affiliated or a member of the fraternity Domino Lux–Piolo was a known member of this organization.
Court papers indicate that Domino Lux was heavily involved in campaigns for Piolo following his death, including a red carpet event called “A Tribute to Bert.” Torre also says Domino Lux was supportive of the “Justice for Bert” campaign and showed up in droves to Piolo’s rosaries, funeral and other events honoring the fallen police officer.
Because of Justice Torres’ involvement with the fraternity, court documents say his “impartiality in this appeal might reasonably be questioned,” adding, “Justice Torres may have a personal bias or prejudice against Torre.”
You can read Torre’s objection here.