Driver in fatal hit-and-run is arrested


David Desebel Kapileo

The alleged driver who was involved in a hit-and-run that killed a pedestrian in As Mahetog last April 1 was located and arrested last Friday.

The suspect, David Desebel Kapileo, was arrested at 3:45pm and is detained at the Department of Corrections on a $100,000 cash bond.

Department of Public Safety spokesperson Jacqueline Rae Shepard said that Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio issued Friday a warrant for the arrest of the 50-year-old Kapileo on charges of homicide by vehicle, violating the speed limit, reckless driving, and driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The victim, a 38-year-old Chinese male, was hit by the sports utility vehicle that Kapileo was allegedly driving at the intersection of Chalan Pale Arnold Road and As Mahetog near the Saipan Ice and Water Co. last April 1.

The victim sustained severe injuries and was pronounced dead at the Commonwealth Health Center that same day at 9:45pm.

Police said that, according to a witness, after the car hit the victim, the driver kept driving south, then reportedly made a left turn on Mihaville in Garapan.

Police located the SUV seven hours later.

Kapileo is a habitual offender.

In September 2016, Kim-Tenorio slapped Kapileo with a one-month prison term for beating up his wife. After serving the prison term, he was placed on probation for one year.

Kapileo was ordered to complete alcohol abuse and anger management counseling.

A few days before, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho dismissed a case that charged Kapileo with criminal mischief for allegedly damaging a woman’s case.

Camacho dismissed the case after the prosecution and the defense counsel agreed to the dismissal of the case.

On Aug. 11 2016, Camacho found as too lenient the Office of the Attorney General’s plea deal that recommended a 19-day prison term for Kapileo in the criminal mischief case. The judge rejected the plea agreement.

Camacho noted, among other things, that Kapileo has been arrested several times since being released on the murder conviction.

Kapileo fatally shot his mother with a gun at their house in Garapan in December 1992, according to court records.

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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