Court sets $15K bail for men accused of robbing 2 women

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The Superior Court has imposed a $15,000 cash bail on each of the two men who allegedly robbed two women in central Garapan last week.

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph Camacho imposed last Monday a $15,000 cash bail each on Vincent DLG Pua, 29, and Brandon Lizama Benavente 37, before remanding them to the custody of the Department of Corrections. They were ordered to return to court on Sept. 22 at 10am for a preliminary hearing and on Sept. 27 for their arraignment.

The two, who are being charged with robbery, allegedly robbed two women in central Garapan on Sept. 8, 2021, according to Office of the Attorney General’s Steve Kessel.

Pua’s counsel, assistant public defender Emily Thompson, asked the court to allow her client to post 10% of the bail amount but the court did not rule on the matter last Monday.

According to court documents and police interview with one of the two victims through a Chinese interpreter last week, the two victims had been playing at Club 88 when one of them received a call from a friend at around 9:19pm asking to meet them at a karaoke bar. One of the victims cashed out her winnings of $60 before she and her companion left the establishment.

One of the victims said that, as they were walking toward the karaoke bar, a black sedan that was heading south stopped beside them and a man whose face was covered came out, grabbed her from behind, and demanded that she give him her wallet. She said the man grabbed her wallet from under her arm before running back into the black sedan and speeding away.

In a statement to the police, Benavente said that, prior to the incident, he saw his friend, Pua, at Club 88 and, when he finished playing, he got up and exited though the back door with Pua following behind him.

Benavente told police that while outside, they saw two Chinese females exit Club 88, one of whom was holding a purse and the other a wallet.

The two defendants decided to rob the women, but Benavente said he changed his mind and told Pua to “just forget about it.” Pua allegedly told Benavente that they had to do it.

Benavente admitted that he jumped out of the car, grabbed the lady’s wallet, and jumped back into the vehicle. He also said Pua threw the victim’s cell phone by the parking lot next to Club 88’s back exit door because it began ringing.

Benavente said they drove to Pua’s house where they counted the money before Benavente asked to be dropped at Dollar Poker where they parted ways.

In Pua’s statement to the police, he said prior to the incident, he arrived at Club 88 and saw Benavente who asked him to follow him to his car.

Pua said when he got into the front passenger seat, Benavente started driving toward Orchid Poker before parking the car.

Pua said Benavente then jumped up from his seat and threatened Pua to get into the driver’s seat and start driving.

Pua told police he had no choice but to drive.

Pua said he was driving northbound on Puti Tainobiu Ave. when Benavente jumped out of the car and grabbed something from a woman and jumped back into the car.

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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