Trial begins in Guam crash-stabbing rampage

2014-06-11 13:32

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Hagatna – At least 170 people are expected to testify in the murder trial of a 22-year-old man charged with killing three Japanese tourists and hurting 11 others during a rampage in a busy tourist area last year, prosecutors and defence lawyers say.

Jury selection began this week in the trial of Chad Ryan DeSoto. Authorities said DeSoto barrelled his car down a sidewalk, crashed into a convenience store, then got out and stabbed bystanders — including two infants — during the 12 February rampage that shocked the island US territory.

The three tourists killed were Kazuko Uehara, 81, and Rie Sugiyama, 29, who were stabbed to death. Hitoshi Yokota, 51, was hit by a car and died in a hospital two days later.

Opening statements are scheduled for Monday.

DeSoto has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness, disease or effect to charges of aggravated murder and attempted murder. He has been evaluated by two forensic psychiatrists, but the evaluations were sealed. If convicted, DeSoto faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The case has drawn international attention, with some raising questions about tourist safety in the US territory after the rampage and media outlets in Asia showing significant interest.

Popular destination for Japanese tourists

Judiciary spokesperson Joshua Tenorio said the trial will last more than a month, with an influx of foreign media packed with members of the public and 18 jurors in a courtroom with 40 seats.

It's not a typical case, Tenorio said.

"There's a lot of public interest in it because of the nature of the crime that occurred. Also [because of] all the potential impacts this may have on perceptions of Guam," he said. "For us, our mission in the court system is that justice is given in a fair and timely manner."

Guam is a popular destination for Japanese tourists, with flights from Tokyo taking about 3½ hours. Guam gets about 200 flights from Japan weekly, Guam Visitors Bureau spokesperson Josh Tyquiengco said. Last year, Guam had 1.3 million visitors total, and industry experts expect arrivals to grow this year.

The bureau, the territory's main agency that promotes tourism, is paying for the transportation and lodging of some witnesses from Japan and Australia at the request of Guam's attorney general.

"I think [tourism] being the number one industry on Guam, everyone has a stake in tourism and making sure that we don't have this perception that we're saying we're safe but we're really not," said Antonio Muna Junior, who manages Guam's tourism website and was the Visitors Bureau spokesman when the incident happened. "I believe 100% Guam is safe. It's incidents like these that we try to mitigate, and we try to show people that Guam is safe."
- AP
Read more on:    us  |  japan
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!

Who would have guessed the world’s least visited country would have such spectacular beaches?

 
 

I love summer.24

LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.