Bench warrant out for San Nicolas

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph Camacho has issued a bench warrant for former Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board member Eric Henry Cruz San Nicolas after he failed to show up for his motion hearing last Friday.

San Nicolas, who was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, among other charges, failed to show up for the hearing where both parties would have argued whether to deny or grant San Nicolas’ request to suppress evidence.

Camacho said the bench warrant will be quashed once San Nicolas shows up for the next scheduled motion hearing, which hasn’t been set yet.

According to the Office of the Attorney General, San Nicolas’ motion to suppress evidence from what he argues was an illegal traffic stop should be denied because the police officer who initiated the stop did so as he had a reasonable suspicion that San Nicolas posed a threat.

Police officer Rodolfo Hermosilla, the officer who stopped San Nicolas in 2018, initiated the stop because he received information that San Nicolas was possibly intoxicated, that he had allegedly taken items from his girlfriend without her consent, and that he was threatening to commit suicide.

“These facts, when taken together, justify…Hermosilla to temporarily detain the vehicle for a brief investigation to see whether these conditions exist and to potentially protect [San Nicolas] from harming himself or the community,” said assistant attorney general Robert Glass in his response to San Nicolas’ motion.

However, in San Nicolas’ motion, Office of the Public Defender’s Jean Pierre Nogues argues that the stop was initiated two hours after San Nicolas’ girlfriend made the complaint about stolen items and alleged that he is drunk.

Nogues added that a hearsay allegation that a person is drunk is not a basis to pull over a vehicle.

“The sole basis for the stop appears to be the accusations allegedly made by [San Nicolas’ girlfriend] two hours earlier,” Nogues said.

According to court information, it is alleged that in the early hours of July 28, 2018, San Nicolas committed the crimes of reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol, and driver’s license violation.

San Nicolas was stopped following a report that he had stolen a cellphone and car keys that belonged to his girlfriend. San Nicolas reportedly threatened his own life and was allegedly drunk.

Kimberly Bautista Bautista
Kimberly Bautista is the youngest in the stable of Saipan Tribune reporters. She has covered a wide range of beats, including the community, housing, crime, and education, for the Saipan Tribune.

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