Guam Naval Hospital psychiatrist tapped to evaluate Mathewson


The CNMI government will tap Dr. Dominic Hernandez, a psychiatrist from the Naval Hospital of Guam, to conduct a mental evaluation on William Kapono Mathewson, the man charged with beating and stabbing Dr. Francois Claassens with a fishing spear in the neck.

At a status conference yesterday, assistant attorney general Chester Hinds, however, informed Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho that no schedule has been set yet for the evaluation.

Camacho ordered that once Hernandez’s evaluation is completed, the government shall provide a copy to defendant’s counsel, assistant public defender Michael Sato.

Camacho said the jury trial set for Oct. 11, 2016 at 9am shall proceed at the Rota Courthouse.

Camacho set a pretrial conference/motion hearing for July 20 at 9am instead of the original date, July 13.

The judge ordered the parties to inform their witnesses of the trial date and to make advance travel reservations, hotel and car reservations to avoid any delays.

Camacho said any request for additional funding for expert by the Office of the Public Defender must be made in writing.

Last month, Hinds requested for the October 2016 trial as they wish to get their own mental health expert to do a mental evaluation on Mathewson.

Saipan Tribune learned that Mathewson was already evaluated by the defense’s mental expert. On April 29, 2015, Camacho granted the request of assistant public defender Sato to appoint a psychiatrist who will examine Mathewson. The prosecution did not oppose Sato’s request.

In requesting for appointment of psychiatrist, Sato disclosed that Mathewson will rely upon the defense of insanity at the time when he committed the alleged crime.

Mathewson, a farmer/fisherman, allegedly stabbed the then-60-year-old Claassens in the neck with a fishing spear and clubbed him on the head with a big pot and chain.

The brutal attack happened in the backyard of the doctor’s house in Teneto Village on Rota on April 4, 2015. Mathewson’s house is located near the doctor’s residence.

Claassens has since recovered from his injuries.

The Office of the Attorney General charged the 37-year-old Mathewson with attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault and battery, and three counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.

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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