Emmanuel Reselap 19, wiped tears from his eyes as he stood up inside the Superior Court of Guam on Wednesday during his sentencing hearing.
He and his brother, Jordan Rachulap, 25, were convicted in connection to the June 2019 machete incident in Mangilao.
Reselap was sentenced to serve 24 years in prison.
Rachulap got 12 years in prison.
Both addressed the court during their sentencing hearing.
Reselap: ‘I take full responsibility for everything that happened that day’
“I’ve been sitting in jail for the last eight months, which has given me a lot of time to think about it,” Reselap said before being sentenced.
He named the numerous victims involved.
“All of the people that I have affected and hurt on June 4, 2019, to the people of Guam and to my family … I say these words to you from the bottom of my heart, because I truly mean it. I cannot tell you how sorry I am to be standing before you. I know that what I did on that day was terrible and I have no excuse,” he said. “They did not deserve to be scared or terrorized by me. They did not deserve to have their cars damaged. I take full responsibility for everything that happened that day. I was drunk and Erson (Reselap) knocked me out, and I really don’t remember much after that. Being drunk and getting knocked out is still no excuse for what I have done. In the end, I am sorry. I especially would like to say I am sorry to the Micronesian Chuukese people because I made you look bad by my actions.”
Rachulap: ‘I am sorry’
“I am sorry,” said Rachulap. “I hope they can find it in themselves to forgive me and my younger brother. I am not asking for another chance. I am just asking that people don’t look at me as a bad person. I am a hardworking father who supports six beautiful kids. We do treat Guam as our home, too, because we were raised here.”
Erson Reselap, who was stabbed in the incident, said he has forgiven his two cousins for what happened and asked the court for leniency.
The pair's mother also apologized in court for her two sons' behavior.
Assistant Attorney General Sean Brown told the court he wants Reselap to serve 46 years in prison, and Rachulap to serve 15 years.
“They went on a rampage,” said Brown. “I don’t think rehabilitation is possible. The only treatment is correctional treatment."
Reselap asked the court for mercy, knowing that he could spend the rest of his life at the Department of Corrections.
“I know I need to be punished for the things that I did. I only ask that you can find a way in your heart to grant me some leniency,” Reselap said. “I hope to be able to talk to the younger generations so that I can encourage them not to do what I have done. That drinking and drugs and fighting and violence is not right. I want to tell them to stay in school and stay out of trouble.”
“He demonstrated that he accepted responsibility,” said Reselap’s defense attorney, Samuel Teker.
“Jordan is not a monster,” said Rachulap’s defense attorney, Gloria Rudolph. “We are not asking the court for sympathy, but understanding.”
Victimized former senator asks for harshest sentences
Former chief of police and senator, and current University of Guam adjunct professor Judith Guthertz was one of the victims in the incident.
“The actions of the defendants … have greatly affected my life,” she said in her testimony at Wednesday’s hearing. “Initially, I had difficulty sleeping because of fear I experienced when the defendants violently attacked my vehicle with me inside.”
Guthertz said she still gets flashbacks of the incident. She asked the court to impose the “longest sentences possible.”
“I feel that will allow the victims and the Guam community not to worry about them going back to the streets and repeating their crimes against other innocent people,” she said.
Guthertz also told the court, “whenever serious offenders get a mere slap on the hand, the victims of their actions get a slap in the face. Community distrust of our island’s criminal justice system grows even more.”
To the defendants, she said, “Get real. Get a life. Change your ways. Focus on positive outcomes. Value education and learning. Respect Guam and all the people who call Guam home!”
The two were accused of striking cars with machetes and throwing rocks at them, causing damage to several vehicles.
Emmanuel Reselap was acquitted of attempted murder in the slashing of his cousin Erson Reselap, but found guilty of aggravated assault, two counts of terrorizing and criminal mischief, and family violence.
Rachulap was found guilty of two counts each of criminal mischief and terrorizing.
The Office of the Attorney General has filed restitution summaries from some of the victims in the case. About $2,337 is being claimed against Emmanuel Reselap by two victims for repairs done to their vehicles.
Similarly, more than $5,000 is being claimed against Rachulap for vehicle repair costs.
Both will have a restitution hearing at a later date.