Duenas is found not guilty

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A man accused of slapping a man who was tailgating him was found not guilty of charges on Wednesday in Superior Court.

At the conclusion of the bench trial, Associate Judge Joseph Camacho found 30-year-old Ryan Dueňas not guilty of charges filed against him, saying that Dueňas’ recollection of events and his testimony was more credible than the victim’s.

Camacho said he found numerous inconsistencies in the testimony of the victim.

According to Camacho, the victim’s version of the events proved that he was actually aggressively tailgating Dueňas, even after Dueňas made the effort to speed up and create a distance between his white pickup truck and the brown pickup truck that was following him.

The Superior Court also ruled in favor of Dueňas and concluded that he was merely using self-defense to repel the victim when he slapped him.

The Superior Court also concluded that the government failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Duenas committed the offense of assault and battery and disturbing the peace.

On or about Feb. 15, 2018, Duenas allegedly slapped another man in his vehicle for driving too close behind him, allegedly nearly hitting the back of his vehicle, in Chalan Kiya Drive.

During the bench trial, Dueňas testified that he thought the victim was falling asleep and he was also scared that the victim was a threat.

Dueňas told the court that after he got out of his vehicle and confronted the victim, the victim allegedly threw a punch that Dueňas dodged and he retaliated with a slap to the right side of the victim’s face.

According to the victim’s testimony, he did not throw the first punch and that he was just sitting in his vehicle when Dueňas approached him.

The victim said that Dueňas had come equipped with a machete but Dueňas said he had a machete in his vehicle but he did not bring it with him when he confronted the victim.

A witness of the prosecution, Dueňas’ brother, said that he did not see a punch thrown by Dueňas nor did he see Dueňas back up as to dodge a punch during the altercation.

Kimberly Bautista | 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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