Mental evaluation of murder suspect yet to happen

A man who has been in jail since October 2017 over the killing of a woman and injuring her husband in Chalan Kanoa has yet to undergo mental evaluation.

The prosecution informed Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho about the status of the mental evaluation issue at a status conference on Thursday.

Camacho later reset the status hearing to Jan. 30, 2019, to allow the Office of the Attorney General’s expert to conduct a mental evaluation on Alfonso Sebastian Parongan.

Chief Prosecutor Michele Harris and assistant attorney general Teri Tenorio appeared for the government at the hearing. Assistant public defender Nancy Dominski is counsel for Parongan.

Dominski filed Thursday afternoon a one-sentence demand for speedy trial.

“Defendant again renews his demand for a speedy jury trial,” Dominski said.

Parongan, 56, has been in jail since he was arrested shortly after the incident in October 2017. No bail was imposed because it’s a murder case.

Through his counsel, Parongan asserted last July a plea of not guilty for reason of insanity. The Saipan Tribune learned that the mental evaluation report for Parongan was filed in court under seal. The OAG wants to have Parongan evaluated by a mental expert.

The OAG charged Parongan with first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Police said that Parongan confessed to smoking methamphetamine and drinking 12 cans of beer on the day of the incident.

The woman suffered multiple stab wounds, while her husband sustained 12 injuries in different parts of his body, police said.

The woman was reportedly trying to collect house rental from Parongan when the two got into argument on the evening of Oct. 29, 2017. He allegedly stabbed the woman and her husband with a kitchen knife.

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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