Loved ones of Jaron "JC" Weilbacher, a John F. Kennedy High School graduate and former Marine, gathered Thursday night at The Cove in Tamuning to pay tribute to him.
“Jaron was a natural-born leader. When he was a little boy, they put him in sports and he always shined. In school, he shined,” said Fritz Weilbacher, Jaron’s uncle. “The family just lost a star. He was a rising star for the next generation in our family.”
Jaron died Saturday, Oct. 9, after a fight outside King’s Restaurant in Tamuning.
The mark he left behind was evident by the dozens of friends and family members who showed up to pay their respects to the Weilbacher family and share stories of "JC."
“He’s a very humble man. He had a lot of plans ahead of him after he came back home from serving the Marine Corps for four years,” said Jamey Smith, Jaron’s cousin. “He had planned to marry his girlfriend, his middle school sweetheart. He had plans to finish college and eventually go on with his life. It’s very sad those plans got cut short.”
His classmates remember the type of athlete he was on the court and on the field.
“He was friendly to everybody and nice,” said Roxon Leinos, Jaron Weilbacher’s friend. “He was basically like a brother to all of us.”
“Everyone knows him as a good guy. He was just a fun, loving guy and everyone loves to be around him,” said Matthew Taijeron, another friend of Jaron Weilbacher.
Three people were arrested in connection with the fight that turned deadly, but none of the suspects has been charged with murder or manslaughter.
John Mike Muliaga, 22, is being held on $25,000 cash bail on charges of aggravated assault as a second-degree felony and three counts of assault as misdemeanors.
Muliaga, a civilian, moved to Guam nearly two months ago to live with his brother, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Fiataugaluia Ahkee, 31, who is stationed at Andersen Air Force Base.
Ahkee was charged with assault as a misdemeanor and remains under house arrest.
Guam police also arrested Army Spc. Joseph Decady, 36, who was subsequently released. Decady has not been charged in the Superior Court of Guam.
The military has confirmed that Ahkee is a petroleum supply specialist and Decady is a unit supply specialist. Both are assigned to the 38th Air Defense Artillery Brigade which plays a role in missile defense on Guam.
The Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Army Criminal Investigation Division have been working with local law enforcement, and the military is awaiting the results of the investigation, according to Capt. Nicholas Chopp, public affairs officer at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii.
When asked if the soldiers will remain in the military, Chopp stated, “As with all American citizens, service members have the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. We cannot speculate on the outcome of the investigation.”
The Guam Office of the Attorney General has not closed the possibility of reclassifying the case.
"There is further investigation occurring, which may end up bumping up this charge of aggravated assault," said Assistant Attorney General Leonardo Rapadas, during a magistrate’s hearing earlier this week.
Fritz Weilbacher said the family is watching the case closely. He said the soldiers involved should have prevented the fight from getting out of hand.
“When this incident happened, those 30-plus-year-old adults should have stopped the incident and not participated. I think this is what really hurts,” Fritz Weilbacher said.