Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho convicted habitual offender Joseph Acosta Crisostomo yesterday on charges of being found in possession of methamphetamine or “ice” last year.
As this developed, Crisostomo's preliminary hearing yesterday for the kidnapping and murder of bartender Emerita Romero was reset for today, Thursday at 1:30pm.
Court-appointed counsel Robert Torres withdrew as counsel for Crisostomo as he represents a company that offered a cash reward for information in the murder case.
In a bench trial that lasted only a day, 39-year-old Crisostomo was found guilty of illegal possession of controlled substance and criminal contempt. He will be sentenced today, Thursday, at 1:30pm.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years and six months in prison. Camacho is known for imposing maximum sentences and rejecting lenient plea deals.
At the trial, Camacho found the testimonies of the government's witnesses credible, particularly the testimonies of police officer T.J. Yangetmai and Guam Police Department's criminalist Analyn Gatus Akigami.
It was police officers Yangetmai and Tyrone Teregeyo who came upon Crisostomo and John Namauleg inside a car at a secluded beach in Susupe during routine patrol. The officers seized from the two drug paraphernalia that contained residue that, according to Akigami, was positive for methamphetamine or “ice.”
At that time, Camacho said, Crisostomo was still on probation for a prior criminal conviction and among the conditions of his probation is a prohibition from possession of alcohol and controlled substances.
The prosecution called six witnesses, including Namauleg, who was in the car with Crisostomo when they were arrested. The defense called four witnesses.
At closing arguments, assistant attorney general Chemere K. McField said they have presented solid and credible evidence to prove that Crisostomo is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
Acting chief public defender Douglas Hartig attacked the credibility of Namauleg, who has been convicted of theft by deception and forgery.