Jurors to continue deliberations today in the case against Tydingco couple



Federal court jurors are expected to resume their deliberations today, Monday, in the trial of couple Francisco Muna Tydingco and Lili Zhang Tydingco, who are accused of harboring an illegal alien child.

The jurors started deliberating on Friday morning. They were seen leaving the U.S. District Court for the NMI at 4:35pm after the judge ordered them to come back today, Monday, to continue their deliberations.

The jurors are going to decide whether the Tydingcos are guilty or not as to one count of harboring an illegal alien.

Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona presided over the trial that began last Tuesday.

Assistant U.S. attorney Russell H. Lorfing prosecuted the case. Attorneys Steven Pixley and Bruce Berline are counsel for Francisco Tydingco and Lili Tydingco respectively.

A federal grand jury has indicted the couple for allegedly receiving money to harbor two illegal Chinese aliens, including the child they enrolled at a public school.

The indictment charged the Tydingcos with two counts of harboring illegal alien. The prosecution dismissed one count pertaining to the child’s uncle after the government completed calling its witnesses.

According to Homeland Security Investigations Task Force officer Jesse Dubrall, the child’s purported uncle, Rongxue Liu, stated in an interview that he paid Lili Tydingco $7,000 in exchange for helping him enter into a fake marriage and obtain a green card.

Dubrall said the parents of the child admitted that they agreed to pay Lili Tydingco between $15,000 and $20,000 to take their child to Saipan and get her a green card.

Dubrall said the Tydingcos went to China in September 2013 and returned to Saipan with the then-10-year-old Chinese girl on Sept. 26, 2013.

Liu arrived on Saipan from China on July 25, 2015, according to the prosecution.

In Francisco Tydingco’s closing arguments on Thursday, defense attorney Pixley said most of the time he remained quiet in the courtroom and that this is because he did not hear evidence against his client.

Pixley said this case is a frightening example of the U.S. government using its vast resources and power against an innocent man.

In Lili Tydingco’s closing arguments, defense counsel Berline said the prosecution horribly failed in this case. He said the prosecution stated that there are no shortcuts in life, but made 100 shortcuts in evidence.

In the U.S. government’s closing arguments, Lorfing said it is clear that they met the burden to prove beyond reasonable doubt to the offense of harboring an illegal alien and asked the jurors to find the Tydingcos guilty.

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

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.