Habitual offender gets 15-month term for machete threat, violating probation


Benzi Edward Ngeskebei, a habitual offender accused of holding a 14-inch long machete to the neck of a man who gave him a car ride in Chalan Kanoa, has pleaded guilty and was slapped with a six-month prison term.

Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo gave the 29-year-old Ngeskebei credit for 80 days of time served.

Ngeskebei was also sentenced to nine months in prison for violating his probation, to be served consecutively with his six-month sentence. That means Ngeskebei will serve a total of 15 months.

Ngeskebei pleaded guilty to assault as part of a plea deal. He also admitted to violating the terms and conditions of his probation in a 2011 conviction.

This latest case arises from an incident on June 20, 2015, when Ngeskebei pointed a machete at Joseph Deleon Guerrero’s head while the victim was driving a vehicle.

Assistant attorney general Emily Cohen appeared for the government. Assistant public defender Matthew Meyer served as counsel for Ngeskebei.

According to police, officers responded to Chalan Kanoa on June 20 at midnight after receiving a call that Ngeskebei was holding a knife to another person’s neck by the intersection of As Perdido and Texas Roads.

Two police officers saw the vehicle on the eastbound lane by the intersection into Texas Road with its hazard lights turned on.

As one officer drove closer to the vehicle, he saw Ngeskebei walking on the road. The officer approached Ngeskebei and secured him in handcuffs for safety purposes.

A man, later identified as Joseph Leon Guerrero, got out of the parked car and yelled at the officers to arrest Ngeskebei because he tried to cut him with a machete.

Leon Guerrero had scratches on his right arm but he refused medical treatment.

According to Leon Guerrero, he got home around midnight in Koblerville when Ngeskebei asked him to drop him off at Chalan Kanoa.

Leon Guerrero and his wife agreed to do so but, once they reached the As Perdido traffic light, Leon Guerrero and Ngeskebei got into a heated argument about poker, drugs, and gambling.

As the car approached the intersection into Texas Road, Ngeskebei, who was sitting in the back of the car, leaned over Leon Guerrero, took out a machete, and cussed at him.

When Leon Guerrero saw the machete, he slammed on the brakes and grabbed the machete and pinned it against the steering wheel.

During the struggle, Leon Guerrero’s wife, who was sitting on the front passenger seat, called the police.

Ngeskebei let go of the machete, apologized to Leon Guerrero, got out of the car, and was walking away when police arrived.

In September 2013, police arrested Ngeskebei for allegedly repeatedly hitting his sister with a baseball bat and punching her at their home in Koblerville.

Police said the sister managed to escape by jumping out of a window, tearing the screen. Injured, the victim ran to Turnkey Housing where she called the police. (Ferdie de la Torre)

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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