$100K bail for suspect in fatal Marpi accident


Andrei Camacho, 18, as he is escorted out of Superior Court Associate Judge Wesley Bogdan’s courtroom following his initial appearance hearing yesterday. (KIMBERLY B. ESMORES)

The Superior Court has kept the $100,000 cash bail previously imposed on the alleged driver of the Toyota Tacoma that was involved in a fatal car accident in Marpi over the weekend that killed one teenager and sent two others to the hospital’s intensive care unit.

During an initial appearance hearing yesterday for Andrei Camacho, 18, Superior Court Associate Judge Wesley Bogdan opted not to entertain a verbal motion to modify bail for the defendant and, instead, maintained the court’s previously imposed $100,000 cash bail at the time of Camacho’s arrest.
The verbal motion was made by Camacho’s court-appointed lawyer, Emily Thomson of the Public Defender’s Office. Bogdan ordered the defense to file a written motion for bail modification before the court would address it.

Following the hearing, the judge remanded Camacho back to the Department of Corrections’ custody because he was not able to post the $100,000 cash bail and ordered him to return to court on Aug. 24, for his preliminary hearing.

During the initial appearance hearing, Office of the Attorney General’s Steve Kessel, who represents the government, informed Camacho and the court that over 10 different charges have been filed against the defendant, including homicide by vehicle, manslaughter, possession of a controlled substance, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, failure to drive on the right side of the highway, reckless driving, and more.

Kessel also noted that for homicide by vehicle and manslaughter alone, Camacho, who just turned 18 in June, faces a possible maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and over $15,000 in fines.

The fatal car accident occurred in Marpi last Sunday, Aug. 14, and resulted in the death of a teenage male.
Camacho, who was allegedly the driver of the Toyota Tacoma that was involved in the accident, was allegedly driving at 100 mph prior to the accident. He allegedly ran away on foot after running the vehicle off the road and landing it in a ditch. He turned himself in later that same day at around 4pm.

According to court documents, police responded to a reported auto-ran off crash incident in Marpi near Grotto at around 12:08am last Sunday.

At around 12:19am, officer Jasper Manacop arrived at the crash scene and met two male individuals who were later identified as occupants of the crash vehicle.

One of the occupants was complaining he had dislocated his shoulder in the crash, and the other was complaining of pain. While they were being checked out by medics, the occupants told Manacop that another passenger was trapped in the vehicle further up the street. The occupants identified Camacho as the operator of the crashed vehicle.

Manacop then saw the silver Toyota Tacoma pickup truck that had come to rest in a ditch down the slope of the jungle, with an unconscious male individual in the rear right passenger seat. Medics found that the passenger still inside the truck had no pulse and was not breathing. Medics noted that he had a fractured face, with a laceration on the back of his head and a pool of blood running down his right arm, which was out of the vehicle.

Medics transported all three occupants to Commonwealth Health Center where the two conscious passengers were treated, and one was pronounced dead on arrival by Dr. Matthew Nelson due to blunt force head trauma.
At around 2:18am, police interviewed the two surviving passengers who stated that all four of them, including Camacho, had smoked joints of marijuana prior to the crash and they were not using their seatbelts.The two individuals also stated that after the crash, Camacho “disappeared.”

Police learned from the occupants that Camacho was operating the truck at a speed of 100 mph and was told multiple times to slow down but he refused to do so, even saying, “I know how to drive.”

Police who were investigating the scene at around 4:45am noted that they observed opened cans of Budweiser beer containers inside the crashed truck, an opened and empty vodka liquor bottle, and a black pouch containing a medium-size Ziplock bag containing a green leafy substance.

At around 3:15pm, court documents said Camacho arrived at CHCC and was questioned by the doctor at the emergency room in the presence of officers Keremes Terry and Vince Igitol. There Camacho admitted that he had consumed alcoholic beverages prior to the crash and admitted to being the driver of the vehicle.
Camacho also mentioned that he helped the occupants get out from the vehicle prior to fleeing the scene and other information pertaining to the crash.

At around 4pm, police asked Camacho to submit to a blood draw, which he refused.
At 6:43pm, police lieutenant Norris Kwon tested the green leafy substance and results came out presumptive positive for marijuana.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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