Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho has denied attorney Janet H. King’s motion to appoint a University of Guam political science professor to assist murder suspect Joseph A. Crisostomo in analyzing the impact of media coverage of the case to see if there is a need to change the trial venue.
In an order Friday, Camacho said it is unclear what Crisostomo is asking the court as he is free to pursue any line of research and trial preparation he desires.
“Motions submitted without an explanation of the procedural posture unduly burden both the court and the nonmoving party and will not be tolerated,” said the judge in denying the motion without prejudice or finality.
In Crisostomo’s motion, King asked the court to grant the appointment of professor John Stoil, to conduct a poll on pretrial publicity.
To support the motion, King attached hundreds of pages of newspaper articles, including Crisostomo’s long history of criminal cases, blogs, photos, and news articles from the Internet and You Tube. In total, she filed 175 exhibits to support the motion.
King said these articles and other media sources more fully show that the media coverage of the case “was pervasive and prejudicial.”
In his order, Camacho said that King asks the court to appoint an expert who has agreed to assist the defendant free of charge.
Camacho said King cites no procedural rule to support the request, and the court will neither exercise its authority without procedural justification, nor guess the procedural rule underlying the request.
Under the Indigent Representation Rules, the judge noted, the court may authorize payments for expert services, but there is no reason for the court to otherwise be involved in the defendant’s trial preparation.
“Rule 706 of the Commonwealth Rules of Evidence provides a procedure for the court to follow when appointing an expert of its own selection or an expert agreed upon by the parties, neither of which is suggested here,” Camacho said.
Crisostomo, 40, is facing charges of first degree murder, kidnapping and other charges, over the killing of bartender Emerita Romero, whose body was found by FBI agents at the former La Fiesta Mall in San Roque on Feb. 7, 2012.