Murder suspect Joseph A. Crisostomo, through his counsel Janet H. King, wants to inspect the purse of murdered bartender Emerita Romero that was retrieved at the former La Fiesta Mall in San Roque where the victim’s body was found.
King asked the Superior Court last week to issue an order compelling the government to produce the purse and its contents for inspection, examination, photograph, and possible testing by their own experts.
The items are currently at the Department of Public Safety’s evidence room.
In the motion to compel, King said the items of evidence, collected by the government in the investigation of the case, are “material and relevant to the issues of guilty, innocence, degree of culpability, and effective cross-examination” of the Commonwealth’s witnesses against Crisostomo.
King said the items have not yet made available to the defendant.
She said investigators retrieved Romero’s violet-colored purse at La Fiesta on April 25, 2012. The lawyer said the purse’s contents are Kotex; birth control pills; a black medium-sized button wallet containing identification cards, photos, credit cards, and ATM cards; and cell phone battery.
King said the government’s experts at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Laboratory have examined and tested each of the items.
The defense counsel said the request for inspection, examination, and testing of the items is “essential to ensure Crisostomo his right to a fair hearing, his right to confrontation, his right to prepare a defense in his own behalf, his right to effective counsel, and due process of law guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.”
FBI agents found Romero’s body at the former La Fiesta Mall on Feb. 7, 2012, two days after she was last seen boarding a car near her house in Garapan. Investigators learned that the bartender mistook the car for a taxicab.