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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Probation sentence pushed for Ayuyu

Lawyers for former senator Juan M. Ayuyu are recommending a probation sentence and no fines for the ex-senator.

Attorney Bruce Berline, counsel for Ayuyu in the fruit bat case, stated that Ayuyu has been an outstanding member of the community for many years and served the community well as a senator until a day came when he was told by a dying member of his family that he would like to eat fruit bat again before he passes.

In Ayuyu’s sentencing memorandum, Berline asked the court to impose a sentence of probation. Citing Ayuyu’s financial circumstances, Berline also urged the court not to impose any fine.

Guam attorney David J. Lujan, counsel for the defendant in the obstruction of justice case, joined in Berline’s memorandum.

Berline said at the time when the wish was made by the dying family member, Ayuyu was aware of the cultural significance that the fruit bat has with the Chamorro people, especially older Chamorros.

When Ayuyu attempted to bring the fruit bat from Rota to Saipan, the fruit bat was discovered, the lawyer said.

Berline said that given the nature and circumstances surrounding the misdemeanor offense, Ayuyu’s lack of any prior criminal history, his acceptance of responsibility, and his strong family support, a sentence of probation is enough.

The U.S. government is recommending the imposition of the highest end—41 months—in the sentencing range.

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