A defense counsel last Friday asked the federal court to order a psychiatric or psychological examination on former disc jockey Aziz Peter Mettao, who is facing charges over the burning of Power 99 Studio's vehicle.
F. Matthew Smith, court-appointed counsel for Mettao, requested the U.S. Disrict Court for the NMI to hold a hearing to determine whether the 27-year-old Mettao is competent to proceed with the trial.
Smith said he is concerned that his client may not be competent to stand trial after reviewing the reported provided by U.S. Probation at the initial hearing and discussing the same with the defendant and his relatives.
“In order to find a defendant incompetent, this court must find by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is suffering from a mental disease or defect rendering him mentally incompetent to the extent that he is unable to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him or assist properly in his defense,” the lawyer pointed out.
Smith disclosed that prior to his arrest, Mettao was working with the Veterans Affairs Office in Guam trying to get mental and medical attention.
“Due to his need for a competency examination and hearing and because it may be relevant to the detention issue, defendant Mettao is willing to postpone the upcoming detention hearing until his competency is determined,” he said.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has stepped into the investigation in the burning of Power 99 Studio's vehicle by Mettao.
ATF agents served Mettao with an arrest warrant last Oct. 19.
U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona issued the arrest warrant after ATF filed that same day a complaint charging Mettao with malicious use of explosive materials, a felony that carries a penalty for a maximum term of 10 years or more in prison.
ATF special agent John N.Q. Quintanilla stated in his affidavit that there is probable cause to believe that Mettao has committed a crime of malicious use of explosive materials.
Quintanilla's affidavit cited the police's reports about the burning of Power 99's silver Hyundai's Tucson in western Garapan in the early morning of Sept. 10, 2012.
Quintanilla said Mettao used beer bottles that he filled with flammable liquid to burn and damage the vehicle leased by Triple J Motors to Power 99, a subsidiary of the Guam-based Sorensen Media Group.
The special agent said according to the radio station's manager, Mettao was employed as a DJ for Power 99 for approximately eight months before his employment was terminated, four months before the car burning.
Mettao is facing criminal charges in Superior Court over the burning of the car. He is out on bail in that case.