One domestic case is dismissed; probable cause found in another

Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman ruled on two domestic violence cases yesterday, clearing one defendant and finding probable cause to charge another.

At a preliminary hearing, Wiseman did not find probable cause to charge Manuel Jones Villagomez and dismissed the information charging him with assault and battery and disturbing the peace.

Wiseman ordered the release of the 40-year-old Villagomez.

In dismissing the charges, the judge noted the conflicting statements of the alleged victim.

In a separate preliminary hearing, the judge found probable cause to charge Johnson Gulapa Bonoan with violating an order of protection, assault and battery, and disturbing the peace.

Wiseman ordered the 45-year-old Bonoan to answer the charges.

In Villagomez’s case, assistant attorney general Barbara Cepeda called to the witness stand police officer Bradford John Camacho Peter.

In Bonoan’s case, assistant attorney general Chester Hinds called to the witness stand police detective Nicolas Rabauliman.

Chief Public Defender Douglas Hartig served as counsel for both Villagomez and Bonoan.

Last May 23, police arrested Villagomez for allegedly beating up his girlfriend and threatening her with a handgun at their home in Dandan.

In Bonoan’s case, Rabauliman said the suspect, who appeared drunk, broke into the house of his former girlfriend in Afetnas on May 17, pointed a machete at her throat, and threatened to kill her.

Rabauliman said during the struggle, the victim suffered lacerations on the head and right shoulder. Their three children witnessed the incident.

Associate Judge Kenneth Govendo earlier issued an order of protection ordering Bonaon not to molest, attack, strike, assault, and call his former girlfriend via telephone. The order, which covers a one-year period, will expire on Dec. 10, 2015.

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Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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