Trial has been delayed in the case involving a man accused of burglarizing a Tamuning residence and making off with $20,000 worth of jewelry and cash.
Jury selection and trial for Jonathan Tedtaotao did not move forward as several issues have contributed to the trial being vacated.
According to court documents, Tedtaotao’s attorney, assistant public defender Zachary Taimanglo, filed a motion to withdraw as legal counsel citing that a breakdown in the relationship between attorney and client has occurred and the court has agreed.
In the court’s decision filed on Sept. 9, it cites that “the court found that the continued lack of trust or confidence expressed by Tedtaotao, but which were not grounded in any factual allegations expressed to the court, created a significant impediment in the continued representation by PDSC and on August 27th the court relieved Taimanglo and PDSC from continued representation of Tedtaotao.”
While Superior Court Judge Maria Cenzon replaced Taimanglo and appointed the Alternate Public Defender it appears that another issue must be addressed before trial can commence.
Taimanglo is requesting that evidence and testimony be suppressed specifically limiting the mention of the identification procedures used in the case, prevent the use of those methods at trial and to limit the testimony of police, probation and parole officers called to testify.
The argument is centered around how Tedtaotao was identified as the suspect through social media stating quote, “some of the challenges presented in this case arise from citizens taking police investigation into their own hands through the use of social media while the police limited their own investigation.”
The motion indicates that Tedtaotao was not the only person named as being the individual captured on surveillance footage. Further stating, ” There is nothing in the discover that suggests the police took any steps to limit how suggestive their inquiry was.”
The request to limit the testimony of officers extends to excluding officers from making any in-court identification of Tedtaotao at a future trial.
Tedtaotao has requested for an evidentiary hearing during which time the government can call its proposed witnesses in the event they seek to offer lay opinion testimony on the issue of identity.