Victim's family opposes murder suspect's release

PANGELINAN: Jonathan Pangelinan listens as charges are read against him during a hearing in March. Leebrick Manglona's family opposes Pangelinan's release. Post file photo

Murder suspect Jonathan Pangelinan appeared in the Superior Court of Guam on Thursday for another hearing on whether he should remain in jail while waiting for his trial or a possible plea deal.

Also present for the hearing were 15 family members of the victim, Leebrick Manglona.

To show solidarity, they all wore red T-shirts to memorialize the 35-year-old father of three who allegedly was fatally assaulted by Pangelinan after a company-sponsored Mes CHamoru celebration at the Atkins Kroll complex in Tamuning in March.

Outside the courtroom, Eleanor Manglona San Nicolas and Peter Manglona, who raised the victim; along with his brother Jerome San Nicolas, said everyone present, including two of the victim's children, were all staunchly opposed to Pangelinan being released prior to trial.

They acknowledged that Pangelinan and Manglona were relatives, and that Pangelinan was their relative, but that it wouldn't be appropriate for him to be released prior to a trial because of "rage" issues he might have.

"It's a big family thing," said Manglona San Nicolas. "It ain't right."

Inside the courtroom, Pangelinan's defense attorney argued that his client, a lifelong resident of the island and job holder for more than 10 years, wasn't going to flee Guam and had no intention to do so.

He said Pangelinan has four children, a girlfriend and three adults who could serve as his third-party custodians.

The defendant's attorney also acknowledged that while Pangelinan was a relative and friend of the victim, despite them fishing together sometimes and working together, it was a "terrible tragedy" that occurred.

Assistant Attorney General Jeremy Kemper responded that the victim and defendant "weren't that good of friends."

The surveillance video would show Pangelinan kept "punching him, and punching him and punching him while the victim threw no punches," Kemper said.

Kemper also argued that while Pangelinan said he had no intention of fleeing Guam, the government could produce a phone call conversation from inside the prison with Pangelinan's father telling his mother that he would try to help him flee.

Judge Michael Bordallo said he would take under advisement the defense motions and government objections about releasing Pangelinan to third-party custodians and the proceedings would continue Aug. 16.

Bordallo also noted he did not want to review the video surveillance because seeing it before trial wasn't right.

Pangelinan is currently being held on $100,000 bail.

According to Post files, the surveillance video footage from the AK facility allegedly shows Manglona and Pangelinan arguing and then fighting on the night of the incident after drinking at the company party.

The two worked together in the AK tinting department.

As Manglona attempted to pick himself up from the fight, he was allegedly kicked by Pangelinan twice in the upper torso, and as Manglona continued to try to stand Pangelinan allegedly punched him, which caused him to fall with his face to the ground.

Pangelinan also was arrested in 2009, when he allegedly admitted to punching and kicking an unconscious individual, Post files state.