Chief prosecutor 'very confident' in Torre retrial

PRESS CONFERENCE: Mark Torre Jr. and attorney Jay Arriola address questions from the media during a July 9 press conference at the Arriola law office in Hagåtña. Post file photo

The Guam Police Department will not be commenting on the recent Supreme Court ruling on the case of a former police officer who went to trial in the shooting death of a colleague.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court tossed out the jury's guilty verdict against former Officer Mark Torre Jr. in the July 2015 fatal shooting of Sgt. Elbert Piolo. In their ruling, the justices found that the Superior Court erred when it denied the defense motion to suppress body camera footage.

The Guam Daily Post sought a statement following Tuesday’s press conference. Torre’s attorney, Jay Arriola, said the “police got this case wrong.”

The video shows police officers interrogating Torre after the incident. They had not read Torre his Miranda rights and attorneys argued that it was a violation of the Fifth Amendment's prohibition against self-incrimination. 

Sgt. Paul Tapao, GPD spokesman, responded yesterday, saying: “GPD will refrain from making any comments relative to the Supreme Court ruling at this time.”

Meanwhile, Piolo’s family and friends are holding a "Justice 4 Bert" rally for Piolo's fourth-year "Angelversary." It will be held at 4 p.m. today at the Chief Quipuha Park in Hagåtña.

The Piolo family is inviting the community to join them in a rally for justice and also to celebrate the deceased officer's life.

Sgt. Piolo left behind wife Mika Piolo and four children.