Criminal case vs man involved in fatal accident amended to traffic case


The criminal case against a man charged with manslaughter and homicide by vehicle has been amended and is now a traffic case.

Last Monday, Superior Court Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja granted the request of the Office of the Attorney General’s criminal division to amend the criminal case against Andrei Camacho, 18, to have it docketed in court as a traffic case.

At an arraignment on Monday, Camacho appeared out of custody and was represented by assistant public defender Emily Thomson who, on behalf of her client, entered a not guilty plea to the charges.

After the hearing Naraja scheduled a status conference for Nov. 2 at 10am.

Now that the case is a traffic case, the Naraja reassigned it to Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo.

During the hearing, assistant attorney general Steve Kessel appeared for the government and informed the court about the prosecution’s intention to prosecute the case as a traffic case.

Camacho is charged with failure to maintain the right side of the highway, speeding, reckless driving, driving under the combination of drugs and alcohol, seatbelt violation, hit and run, failure to report an accident, homicide by vehicle, manslaughter, possession of a controlled substance, and refusal to submit to a blood draw.

Camacho is currently facing charges of manslaughter and homicide by vehicle, among others, for allegedly fleeing the scene of an accident after crashing a Toyota Tacoma that he was driving and leaving three injured minors.

One of the three passengers, a 17-year-old male, was pronounced dead at the hospital while the two other passengers,16-year-olds, sustained major injuries.

According to court documents, police responded to a reported auto-ran off crash incident in Marpi near Grotto last Aug. 14, at around 12:08am.

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 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 police 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
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