Man gets 5 years in prison for stabbing a taxi driver

A man, who stabbed a taxi driver with a pocketknife in As Lito apparently because he was in pain over the death of his sister, has entered a guilty plea and was slapped with a maximum five years imprisonment.

In an order issued Tuesday, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho ordered 25-year-old Michael Salesy Ilo Gioda to serve the five years in prison day for day, without the possibility of parole, probation, and early release.

Camacho gave Gioda credit for time served since Nov. 28, 2017.

Gioda shall not be eligible for parole until he has served a minimum of three years imprisonment.

If released on parole, Gioda is not allowed to have direct or indirect contact with the victim, Wei Wei Hang.

Gioda was required to pay $1,609 in restitution to Hang. He was also ordered to pay the victim any medical expenses incurred by the victim, in relation to the injury.

Camacho said the restitution shall be reduced to a judgment lien.

After the hearing, Gioda was remanded into custody of the Department of Correction to start serving the sentence.

On Dec. 5, 2017, the Office of the Attorney General charged Gioda with aggravated assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon, and disturbing the peace. The charges carry a total maximum penalty of 20 years and six months of imprisonment.

Last June 28, OAG amended the information. The amended information now contains the charge of aggravated assault and battery, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Gioda signed a plea deal with the government. He pleaded guilty.

According to the factual basis of the plea deal, on Nov. 27, 2017 on Saipan, Gioda attempted to “cause serious bodily injury to Hang by using a knife to stab him.”

Gioda’s actions were unprovoked, unlawful, and not carried out in self-defense, the plea deal states.

Assistant attorney general Robert Charles Lee appeared for the government. Assistant public defender Nancy Dominski served as counsel for Gioda.

Police Detective Daniel T. Joab stated in his report that Hang, a Chinese male, sustained two lacerations below the jaw, laceration on the left collarbone, a stab wound on the lower right chest, and minor cuts on the left ring finger.

After being treated at the Commonwealth Health Center, the victim was released.

Joab said investigation showed that at about 6:09pm last Nov. 27, the victim received a phone call from a man requesting to be picked up at the Saipan Mayor’s Office along Beach Road, Chalan Laulau.

The man, who was later identified as Gioda, asked to be dropped off in San Antonio. He later told the victim to drive him instead to Hollywood Video in As Lito.

When the victim parked his car in front of Hollywood Video, Gioda began attacking him with a knife. Gioda than ran away.

Upon arrest, Gioda confessed to police that he stabbed the driver because he was feeling pain over the passing of his sister.

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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