Man in fatal pedestrian incident released on bail

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The Superior Court has allowed 30-year-old Esekiel Smith to post less than 10-percent of his original bail of $100,000 so he could be temporarily released from jail.

Smith, who allegedly killed a man and left him for dead by the side of the road in August, was allowed to post a $2,000 bail so he could be released to his third-party custodians.

Aside from posting bail, Smith is also mandated to return to court whenever required to do so, obey all Commonwealth and federal laws, surrender all travel documents, stay away from all seaports and airports, and abide by court issued curfew from 6am to 6pm.

However, Smith is required to surrender his passport to the court. If he violates any of the court’s conditions, he or his custodians will be required to post a $98,000 unsecured or appearance bond.

Smith’s pretrial conference is set for Dec. 19, 2018, and his jury trial is set for March 11, 2019.

Smith is represented by Office of the Public Defender’s Jean Pierre Nogues and the government is represented by chief prosecutor Michelle Harris.

During the bail modification hearing yesterday, the mother of the victim, who was present, shed tears upon hearing that Smith would be released temporarily to third-party custodians.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, on Aug. 19 at approximately 3:37am, Department of Public Safety received a call about an auto-pedestrian incident adjacent to the Commonwealth Utility Corp. power plant.

Upon arriving at the scene, officers met with the caller who had reported the incident.

According to the caller, he was heading north when he noticed a man lying on the ground. He immediately stopped to call authorities.

DPS reported that the victim had noticeable injuries, was unconscious, and was partially lying on the shoulder of the northbound outer lane.

Medics arrived shortly after and rushed the victim to the Commonwealth Health Center where he was pronounced dead at 4:01am.

According to DPS, further investigation uncovered that the victim had been involved in a disturbance earlier Saturday evening in San Vicente where he sustained injuries from an altercation with a family member and was rushed to CHC, together with the family member. The two had another altercation in the hospital and the victim left on foot at 1:44am on Sunday. That’s when he was hit by a car, allegedly driven by Smith.

On Aug. 20, at 2:32pm, Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio set Smith’s bail at $100,000 for operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license, failure to exercise due care, leaving the scene of an accident without rendering assistance, and homicide by vehicle.

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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