Man gets prison for beating wife in front of child


The Superior Court slapped an 18-month prison term on a man who beat up his wife and hit her with the back end of an axe as she was holding their 2-year-old child in Koblerville.

Kerik Babauta Lizama, 38, pleaded guilty last Tuesday to assault with a dangerous weapon.

The remaining charges—child abuse, interfering with a domestic violence report, assault and battery, and two counts of disturbing the peace—were dropped as part of the deal.

Associate Judge Teresa K. Kim-Tenorio sentenced Lizama to five years in prison, all suspended except for 18 months, without the possibility of parole. Lizama was given credit for time served.

After his prison term, Lizama will be placed on supervised probation for five years.

During his probation, he will be prohibited from having any contact with the victim, complete treatment at the Community Guidance Center, and not allowed to possess or consume any alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs.

Lizama was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and pay restitution, $100 in court assessment fee, and probation fee to be assessed by the Office of Adult Probation.

Lizama assaulted the victim with an axe in the presence of their child last Oct. 10.

According to police, an officer who responded to the scene at a home in Koblerville at 4:35pm that day saw the victim with swelling on the back of her head and nape, a small laceration on her left shoulder, and a small bump on the forehead.

Police learned that Lizama only stopped beating the woman when a female witness shouted at him to stop and when he saw the victim already bleeding.

The victim told police that she was carrying their baby outside the house of the witness when Lizama pulled her hair back, causing her to fall.

Lizama then punched her in the forehead while she was still holding the child. He then went to the storage room to get an axe, prompting her to run to the kitchen, where Lizama’s sister and the witness were there.

Lizama entered the kitchen and hit the victim with the axe. The victim, who was crying, protected the child from being hit.

The two witnesses tried to stop Lizama. When Lizama’s sister phoned the police, he shouted at her to put down the phone.

The police then called back and the victim told the officer that it was just a misunderstanding. Police later came and arrested Lizama. The reason behind the beating was not indicated in the police report.

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

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