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High court dismisses felon’s appeal, returns case to Superior Court

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The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal of a felon regarding his parole revocation and instead returned the case to the Superior Court for further proceedings.

The high court dismissed the appeal of Shawn C. Appleby regarding his parole revocation, but remanded the case back to the trial court of Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja in order to hear the reasoning behind the trial court’s recent order to dismiss Appleby’s lawsuit.

“Appleby’s objection that we should instead grant the appeal because where the parties agree on the basis of the appeal, as here, the solution is not to dismiss it, but to grant it. While we dispose of this matter through a motion to dismiss rather than granting the appeal, we reach the same result Appleby seeks: remand to hear the merits of the writ,” the high court stated in its opinion.

Naraja stated in a previous order that the trial court lacked jurisdiction and dismissed the lawsuit of Appleby against officials of the Department of Corrections and Board of Parole without prejudice, finding his application for a writ of habeas corpus moot.

However, Chief Justice Alexandro Castro, Justice John Manglona, and Justice Perry Inos stated that the judge did not provide any reasoning in his final judgment bearing on the writ or its mootness.

According to the court, the record lacks discussion of the issues or analysis of the applicable law and it is uncertain whether the trial court was correct in dismissing the case because the record was not fully developed.

Appleby, a parolee, was arrested on March 25, 2020, for parole violations.

Appleby exercised his right to a preliminary hearing to determine probable cause and on April 13, a hearing officer determined there was probable cause.

On June 15, the Parole Board issued a notice of final revocation hearing and scheduled the hearing on July 10 at the Gov. Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose Center.

On June 19, Appleby, through assistant public defender Jean Pierre Nogues, filed a complaint with the Superior Court, naming Department of Corrections Commissioner Wally Villagomez and CNMI Board of Parole chair Ramon B. Camacho as defendants.

Appleby wanted the court to issue an order stopping the revocation hearing that was scheduled for July 10. Appleby also filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

In his ruling, Naraj said at the time the petition for a writ of habeas corpus was filed, the final revocation hearing had not taken place.

The final revocation order was issued on July 17.

On March 24, 2020, the Parole Board found that Appleby engaged in criminal conduct by committing the crimes of assault and battery and disturbing the peace by hitting another parolee three times while in a house and then chasing her down the street and pushing her to the ground.

Appleby’s parole application was granted in September 2019.

Appleby has served about 24 years of his 40-year sentence for killing Byung Ok Suh in November 1996 after robbing the victim’s store in San Antonio. In 1999 and 2007, Appleby was convicted for escape, adding two more years to his 40-year sentence.

Kimberly B. Esmores | 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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