Junior Hillbroom convicted again in Palau

Junior Larry Hillbroom was convicted again in Palau and was slapped on Wednesday with a 10-year supervised probation.

Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau Trial Division Associate Justice Lourde P. Materne said the 10 years of supervised probation shall be reduced to seven years provided Hillbroom successfully completes an inpatient rehabilitation program.

Materne said Hillbroom shall serve five years in jail if he fails to complete the inpatient rehabilitation program.

A copy of Materne’s order was filed yesterday before the U.S. District Court for the NMI by Hillbroom’s counsel Rachel A. Dimitruk. Hillbroom has a pending civil legal malpractice lawsuit in District Court against his former two lawyers.

Hillbroom and the Palau government have entered a plea agreement in his two criminal cases.

Pursuant to the plea deal, the defendant pleaded a “no contest” to conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance-methamphetamine.

In return, the Palau government moved to dismiss the remaining three counts in the two cases. Materne granted the motion.

Materne accepted the plea deal and sentenced Hillbroom pursuant to the agreement.

Materne ordered the defendant to pay a $50,000 fine to be deducted from the bond posted with the remainder returned to the poster.

The associate justice said incarceration will commence on Sept. 25, 2018, unless Hillbroom has entered the inpatient rehabilitation program.

Many other conditions were imposed on Hillbroom.

Hillbroom will be allowed to travel prior to Sept. 25, 2018, if necessary, for his pending litigation on Saipan, but he must be accompanied by two police officers.

The travel expenses, including for the two officers, shall be Hillbroom’s responsibility.

Hillbroom was arrested last October in Palau for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine or “ice.”

According to the charges, Hillbroom delivered or possessed methamphetamine on April 11 and May 9, 2017.

Hillbroom was released from jail last August after serving a 60-day prison sentence in Palau for pleading guilty to an escape charge.

Hillbroom filed a legal malpractice in District Court against his former counsel, Barry Israel and Guam lawyer David J. Lujan.

In early 2017, Hillbroom pleaded guilty to a lesser included offense of escape in the second degree before the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau Trial Division and was slapped with a 60-day prison term.

He was recaptured in Palau hours after he escaped from police’s custody on Feb. 9, 2016 just a few hours after he was arrested over the seizure of $160,000 worth of methamphetamine or “ice.”

Hillbroom is one of the four DNA-proven children of the late business tycoon and DHL co-founder Larry Lee Hillblom.

Hillbroom’s name is spelled differently from DHL co-founder Hillblom.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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