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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ex-convict Palacios found guilty of all charges

A federal court jury on Saipan has found Guam ex-convict Jesus S. Palacios guilty of charges related to possession of two guns and 27 bullets.

After deliberating for a few hours, the 12 jurors reached a unanimous verdict yesterday, finding the 52-year-old Palacios guilty of all charges—three counts of a felon in possession of firearm and/or ammunition and three counts of unlawful use of a controlled substance in possession of firearm and/or ammunition.

Palacios will be sentenced on March 14, 2014 at 9am.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona ordered the U.S. Probation Office to prepare a presentence investigation report.

After the hearing, as a court marshal escorted him outside the courtroom, the teary-eyed Palacios nodded to some family members and friends who watched the proceeding.

The trial began Tuesday.

Assistant U.S. attorneys Rami Badawy and Ross Naughton on Tuesday called six witnesses: the defendant’s wife, Yahong Li Palacios; Department of Public Safety police officer Rudolph C. Sablan, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent John N. Quintanilla, ATF firearm and toolmark examiner Howard H. Hong, ATF fingerprint specialist Tania Kapila, and Drug Enforcement Administration forensic chemist Melanie A. Silver.

The prosecution rested its case after Silver’s testimony.

Court-appointed counsel Mark Scoggins did not call any witness. The jurors started deliberations before noon yesterday.

The indictment arose from an incident in April 2013 when police arrested Palacios for allegedly beating up his wife in front of their child and pointing a gun at her head when she refused to give him money.

The then 4-year-old boy told police that he witnessed the beating of his mother and that he also saw his father smoke “ice” and has four guns.

Police learned that Palacios was arrested in Guam in 1997 and charged with murder, manslaughter, and possession of a gun without an ID. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

In 1996, Palacios was also arrested in Guam and he subsequently pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. The other charges were dismissed.

According to the latest indictment, Palacios, a convicted felon, was found in possession of one Ruger Model 10/22 .38 caliber rifle and one .22 caliber rifle with its barrel and stock sawed off (serial number removed).

Palacios was also found in possession of nine .22 caliber bullets, 10 Winchester 38SPL .38 caliber bullets, and eight .9 mm caliber bullets.

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