The man who allegedly attacked Keith Castro with a baton before Castro was shot and killed in Yigo will have to wait another week to answer to the criminal charges filed against him.
Defendant Thomas Taitano, 27, appeared in the Superior Court of Guam via video conference from the Hagåtña Detention Facility to be arraigned. An arraignment hearing allows a defendant to enter a plea to the charges and assert or waive the right to a speedy trial.
However, attorney Shinju Flynn, of the alternate public defender’s office, asked to withdraw from the case. The request was filed under seal, so details further explaining the reasons for the withdrawal were not publicly stated.
Superior Court Magistrate Judge Jonathan Quan granted the request and appointed attorney William Pole to represent Taitano.
Before Flynn, Taitano was represented by the public defender’s office, but it withdrew due to a conflict in providing legal representation.
Taitano, who is being held on $100,000 cash bail, is scheduled for arraignment on Aug. 28.
Charges: Taitano beat Castro, Palacios shot him dead
He was indicted on charges of four counts of aggravated assault and two counts of criminal mischief to a motor vehicle, each with a special allegation of possession or use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony. He also was charged with eluding a police officer as a misdemeanor.
His co-defendant, Joshua Rivera Palacios, 37, has pleaded not guilty to murder as a first-degree felony with a special allegation of possession or use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.
Palacios, who is being held on $500,000 cash bail, is accused of pulling the trigger of the gun that was used to shoot and kill Castro on July 28.
Taitano allegedly attacked Castro in the moments leading up to the shooting at the Yigo residence along Chalan Tun Fred Cabesa.
The day after the deadly shooting, Taitano allegedly tried to run over three people with his car in Dededo, documents state. He was also accused of damaging one of the victims’ vehicles after he allegedly rammed his car into it.