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Man pleads guilty to strangulation

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The Superior Court has sentenced a man to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to a count of strangulation.

Franklin Cepeda pleaded guilty last April 13 to a count of strangulation. Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio sentenced him last week to seven years’ imprisonment, all suspended except for one year. That remaining year shall be served day for day without the possibility of parole. Kim-Tenorio gave Cepeda credit for 89 day of time served.

Following his release, Cepeda will be placed on probation for five years and must submit to examinations and evaluations at the Community Guidance Center during his probation.

According to court documents, Cepeda strangled or attempted to strangle a household member last Jan. 11, 2021.

Cepeda’s jury trial for a separate case that was scheduled for April 14 has been vacated. In that case, Cepeda was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, disturbing the peace, and interfering with a domestic violence report.

As part of the plea agreement with the Attorney General’s Office, the CNMI would dismiss that case for his guilty plea for strangulation.

The victim in both cases was Cepeda’s girlfriend.

According to court documents, the victim told the police that Cepeda gets jealous and gets controlling and sometimes won’t let her out of their room.

Kimberly B. Esmores | 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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