Defendant in Govendo burglary case had wrong name entered


The U.S. government yesterday asked the federal court to issue an order amending the indictment to identify by his lawful and legal name of a habitual offender who is facing a criminal charge for stealing Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo’s gun and ammunition.

Assistant U.S. attorney Russell H. Lorfing said the defendant’s legal name is “Cling Philip Kaipat” but the indictment named him as Gilbert Kaipat.

Lorfing requested that the style of the case be amended in the indictment and all future pleadings to reflect defendant’s legal name.

Lorfing asked the court that this motion be heard on an expedited basis and prior to the U.S. government’s motion to determine whether Kaipat is competent to stand trial, currently set for Tuesday, March 8.

The prosecutor said a grand jury returned the indictment against Kaipat last Dec. 10.

The indictment alleged that on Nov. 5, 2015, “Gilbert Kaipat” knowingly possessed a stolen firearm and stolen ammunition.

Lorfing said subsequent to the indictment, the U.S. government learned that Kaipat’s legal name is “Cling Philip Kaipat.”

Lorfing noted that the defendant does not oppose this motion.

The federal court will hold a hearing on the U.S. government’s motion for psychiatric or psychological evaluation to determine Kaipat’s competency to stand trial.

Lorfing earlier disclosed that there is evidence suggesting that Kaipat may have mental issues.

Kaipat is also facing charges in the Superior Court over the burglary at Govendo’s house.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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