A month after judge’s rejected plea deal, OAG moves to dismiss case



Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho yesterday dismissed without prejudice a new criminal case that charged habitual offender David D. Kapileo for allegedly damaging a woman’s car.

Dismiss without prejudice means the prosecution may re-file the case in the future.

Camacho dismissed the case after assistant attorney general Matthew Baisley, counsel for the government, and assistant public defender Michael Sato, counsel for Kapileo, stipulated to the dismissal of the case.

Baisley and Sato said dismissal “is in the interest of justice.”’

They did not elaborate.

In granting the motion, Camacho said it is the OAG that decides to dismiss the case and the court can only hear the case as filed by the government.

“Because the Office of the Attorney General has dismissed the charges, the case cannot move forward,” the judge said.

With the dismissal, Camacho vacated the bench trial currently set for this Thursday.

Last Aug. 11, Camacho found as too lenient OAG’s plea deal that recommends a 19-day prison term against Kapileo in this case.

Camacho said the jail sentence under the proposed plea deal fails to conform to the standards of this court and the CNMI community, and does not account for the defendant’s criminal history, allege facts and factors for a careful and individualize sentence.

In this 2016 case, OAG charged the 47-year-old Kapileo with criminal mischief.

OAG alleged that Kapileo intentionally kicked the fender of a woman’s rented 2009 Toyota Yaris in front of her.

Under the proposed plea deal, the government will recommend 19 days imprisonment with 19 days credit of time served. It means that if the court would accept the deal, Kapileo will not serve another day in prison.

Camacho said the OAG argues that the court should accept the plea agreement because after serving only 15 years for murder, Kapileo has been rehabilitated.

Camacho found the government’s argument unpersuasive.

Camacho noted that the government does not take into account that Kapileo has been arrested several times since being released on the murder conviction.

Kapileo fatally shot his mother with a gun at their residence in Garapan in December 1992, according to court records.

Camacho listed seven prior criminal cases, including the murder, and one active case.

In addition, Camacho said, Kapileo also has numerous traffic cases and temporary restraining order cases in Family Court.

“The people of the CNMI deserve to have a safe community. There can be no justice without the appropriate punishment,” the judge said.

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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