Attorney Colin Thompson’s cross-examination of Frances Quichocho failed to push through yesterday after she fainted shortly before the ongoing trial was supposed to start in federal court.
Medics arrived and brought Frances in an ambulance to the hospital.
This prompted U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona to excuse the jurors and order them to return today, Tuesday, for the continuation of the trial. Manglona only told the jurors that they are going to take another recess due to an unexpected event.
Saipan Tribune learned that while Manglona was discussing housekeeping matters with the lawyers of both plaintiffs and defense, Frances went to the restroom located on the second floor of the Horiguchi Building. After using the restroom, Frances walked back to the elevator and then collapsed right before the elevator’s entrance.
When the elevator’s door opened, a court staff came out and was surprised to see Frances lying sideways on the carpeted floor. The staff called for security officers and an ambulance was then called.
As one security officer attended Frances, the other security officer went inside the courtroom and informed Frances’ husband, attorney Ramon Quichocho, that his wife had fainted.
Manglona ordered recess at 8:32am.
An ambulance and a fire truck arrived at the Horiguchi Building. Medics put Frances on a stretcher and transported her to the hospital at about 8:50am.
Manglona reconvened at 8:55am.
Quichocho’s counsel, Michael Dotts, apprised the court about Frances’ condition and asked that the trial be postponed to today, Tuesday.
One of Jung Ja Kim’s counsel, Robert T. Torres, said he has never experienced such a thing before and that he and fellow-counsel Thompson have been discussing options.
Torres said they can’t put their rebuttal witness on the stand unless they are done cross-examining Frances.
Torres, however, stated that the parties will continue to work on jury instructions.
Manglona asked the parties to submit their stipulated instructions, as well as their disputed instructions for the court’s review. Dotts said the parties will also work on the admission of certain exhibits.
Manglona said that if Frances can’t continue with her testimony today, she will look at other options. She noted that the jury trial began Feb. 3 and it’s already March 17.
Manglona called the jurors in at 9:05am and asked them to come back today for the continuation of the trial.
Frances already failed to show up for the continuation of her cross-examination on Thursday. This prompted Manglona to reschedule the trial for Friday. Ramon Quichocho also didn’t appear in court that day as he reportedly brought his wife to the hospital.
On Friday, Thompson’s cross-examination of Frances lasted less than two hours as Frances asked to be excused, saying she’s not feeling well. This prompted the judge to excuse her and order her to return yesterday, Monday.
Kim is suing the Quichochos for racketeering and other claims. The Quichochos also filed a counterclaim against Kim.