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Top Guam Stories of 2020 — No. 5

7 homicide cases in 2020

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Seven homicide cases were reported on Guam throughout 2020.

The first one happened on Jan. 25 in Toto.

Victim: Luciana Polly

Katner Herry was charged with aggravated murder, murder, first-degree criminal sexual conduct, aggravated assault and strangulation in connection with the death of his cousin Luciana Polly.

Polly was found beaten to death along a closed-off road in the village.

Autopsy results show that she had died of blunt force trauma to the head.

Court documents state that Herry told police he was asleep when Polly woke him up by pouring beer on him.

He got upset and allegedly punched Polly several times in the face. He said he blacked out while chasing Polly toward Ramirez Street and could not remember what happened next. He did, however, state that he "killed Polly," according to court documents.

Polly's partially clothed body was found by children playing in the area.

Herry remains in jail awaiting trial in the Superior Court of Guam.

Victim: Peter Rios Jr.

The second incident occurred on May 4 in Mongmong.

John Faisao Mendiola was charged with murder as a first-degree felony and aggravated assault as a second-degree felony in connection with the shooting death of Peter Rios Jr. Rios’ death was ruled a homicide. He was found shot dead inside a unit at the Taitano Apartments along J.A. Camacho Street in Mongmong.

Mendiola and Rios had been arguing inside the apartment when the shooting occurred, court documents state. Mendiola allegedly told police that Rios lunged at him with a knife which made him pull the trigger, according to court documents.

Mendiola also remains in jail awaiting trial.

Victim: Kunai Kiosi

The body of Kunai Kiosi, 29, was found on May 31 on the side of the road along Marine Corps Drive in Tamuning near a veterinary clinic. It took the police department 35 days to shift from a death investigation to a homicide investigation because it was waiting for the autopsy on Kiosi. Guam hasn't had a resident medical examiner for nearly two years. No suspect was announced in the death of Kiosi.

Victim: Joseph Michael Zamora

Defendant Anthony Gregory Mendiola was the third person to be charged with murder this year on Guam.

However, the murder charge was dismissed without prejudice in October after the court and prosecution agreed with Mendiola’s claim of self-defense. The prosecution agreed the Castle Doctrine applies to Mendiola’s case.

Mendiola was arrested on June 23 in connection with the shooting death of Joseph Michael Zamora in Agana Heights.

Witnesses told police that Mendiola and Zamora had been arguing in front of Zamora's residence before both went inside and shots rang out, court documents state. "He's inside, I shot him," Mendiola allegedly told responding police officers.

An autopsy report states Zamora was shot as he was facing the shooter, despite court documents stating he was found dead with a gunshot wound to his back and a separate wound on his inner arm.

Mendiola, who was placed under house arrest, still faces charges of possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of a firearm without valid identification, both third-degree felonies.

Victim: Xavier Tedtaotao

Multiple gunshots fired by police officers responding to a report of a stolen car led to Xavier Tedtaotao's death on Nov.3. His wife, Viki Ann, was shot eight times and has since been released from the hospital for her injuries, according to Tedtaotao's family.

The pair were in a car, parked outside an apartment complex in Tamuning when police fired after the vehicle allegedly attempted to move forward. Four officers were placed on leave while under investigation. They have since reported back to work.

The Guam attorney general's office has stated the case is classified as a homicide investigation but no suspect has been identified. The four officers were not identified.

Victim: Sun Cha Park Allen

Nineteen-year-old Jeremy Janell Alvarez was charged with murder as a first-degree felony, aggravated murder as a first-degree felony and aggravated assault as a second-degree felony in connection with the deadly hammer attack on 77-year-old Sun Cha Park Allen in Afame, Sinajana, on Dec. 8.

Each charge includes a special allegation of possession or use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.

Alvarez remains in jail on $100,000 bail.

Alvarez allegedly told Guam Police Department officers that he hit Allen with a hammer "five to 10 times" after she touched his genital area.

He told officers that he asked Allen for Xanax and that's when she touched him, the prosecution stated in court documents.

Victim: Arthur Wakuk

The final incident took police on a manhunt for most of December before authorities arrested Ronat Chutaro in connection with the stabbing death of Arthur Wakuk in Tamuning.

Chutaro was charged with murder as a first-degree felony and aggravated assault as a second-degree felony. Each charge includes a special allegation of possession or use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.

Chutaro allegedly told investigators that Wakuk attempted to hit him with his car.

He also claimed Wakuk attacked him first with a knife and that he had taken it away before he used it to stab him, court documents state.

The defendant is being held by the Department of Corrections on $250,000 bail.

Wakuk died at Guam Memorial Hospital on Dec. 10.

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