Court finds probable cause to try man accused of shooting car

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The CNMI Superior Court has found probable cause to try a man who is accused of shooting a car along Beach Road over a week ago.

Following a preliminary hearing for Bradley Derick Hocog on Wednesday, Superior Court Associate Judge Wesley Bogdan found probable cause to try him for multiple charges for allegedly shooting a car along Beach Road, Susupe.

After the court heard the testimony of Detective Melvin D. Cadiang of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Department of Public Safety, the court found probable cause to believe that Hocog committed the crimes of unlawful transportation of firearm, unlawful discharge of firearm, possession of a firearm in a gun-free zone, and assault with a dangerous weapon

Hocog, who was remanded back to the custody of the Department of Corrections following the hearing, was ordered to return to court to be arraigned on Jan. 24, at 9am.

During the preliminary hearing, the government was represented by Chief Prosecutor Chester Hinds and assistant attorney general Carmen V. Borja while Hocog was represented by assistant public defender Karie Comstock.

According to court documents, Hocog is accused of shooting a car along Beach Road on Jan. 10, while his ex-girlfriend’s daughter was in the car.

Police reports stated that both the victims in the case—Leon Camacho and Jayda Pangelinan—and Hocog and his girlfriend went to the police station voluntarily to report the incident immediately after the shooting.

In a statement from Camacho and Pangelinan, Hocog allegedly shot their vehicle twice while Camacho tried to overtake the vehicle Hocog was riding in. Pangelinan’s mother is a former girlfriend of Hocog.

However, in an interview with Hocog’s current girlfriend, Labian Muna, she said they were driving along Beach Road when she noticed Camacho and Pangelinan in a white SUV “pacing” their car. When the SUV was in the lane next to them, she said she saw Pangelinan taking a video of their vehicle, which upset Hocog and prompted him to flip them off. After doing so, Muna said she heard a crash that she described as a window shattering before feeling something wet but she didn’t see what it was as she was focused on the road.

Later, she saw Muna pull out his gun and fire at the SUV in a downward direction.

Meanwhile, in an interview with police, Hocog said he was just trying to protect his family. He claims that after flipping off Camacho and Pangelinan, he heard a crash and when he turned around, he saw their daughter was wet and crying. This prompted him to get his gun from his bag. However, he claims he didn’t intend to hurt them; he just wanted to scare them. After shooting at the car, he told Muña to drive to the police station so they could report what had happen.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista 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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