Man accused of machete attack found guilty of disturbing the peace

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A man accused of slicing another man’s arm with a machete in 2017 in a drunken fit of rage was found guilty yesterday of just the disturbing the peace charge but not on two other charges

Scott Patrick Owen, 42, was found guilty by a six-person Superior Court jury of disturbing the peace but was found not guilty of assault with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.

The verdict was reached after a two-day trial that started last Monday.

According to the prosecution, the charge of disturbing the peace is punishable by up to five months in prison.

Owen is set to return to court to be sentened in July.

Superior Court Associate Judge Theresa Kim-Tenorio said that usually, if a defendant is found guilty, they are remanded back to Department of Corrections to await sentencing.

However, Owen’s lawyer, Chief Public Defender Doug Hartig, argued that many factors prove that Owen is not a flight risk.

Kim-Tenorio allowed Owen to wait out his sentencing out of custody with all bail conditions still active.

During the two-day jury trial, the government, represented by Office of the Attorney General’s Charlie Lee, called several witnesses to the stand, including the victim, Lo Dong Yang.

Yang told the jury about the events on Nov. 18, 2017, that led to Owen slicing his arm.

Yang’s testimony, which required the help of translators, appeared to revolve around miscommunication between Owen, him, and the three other men who were involved because of the language barrier.

Owen’s story, told through multiple Department of Public Safety officers assigned to the case, described the events as all a drunken mistake. In Owen’s interview with police, he stated that he merely wanted to show Yang the machete and how sharp it was but, because he was drunk, he ended up slicing Yang’s arm instead.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, police received a call about an assault with a dangerous weapon at the Sablan barracks compound back in 2017.

When police arrived at the compound, they saw two Chinese men holding a man, later identified as Owen.

Police saw that Owen had bloodstains all over his clothes. Owen allegedly resisted the officer.

Police noticed that, among the Chinese men in the area, was one whose left forearm was bleeding badly due to a laceration.

The alleged victim told police that he was playing mahjong with another man when Owen came and sat by the table, drinking a bottle of vodka. Three more men came, drank with the alleged victim, and joined the game.

The victim said the problem started when he and his companions began speaking Chinese. Owen stood up and yelled profanities at them. He got a machete from his room and brandished it at those playing mahjong.

The victim said he made a gesture for Owen to calm down, but the suspect instead sliced his left forearm.

Kimberly Bautista | 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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