More treatment for man who stole judge’s gun


The federal court ordered yesterday an additional 120 days of further treatment and evaluation for a habitual offender who stole a gun of a judge and was found mentally incompetent to proceed with the sentencing.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona ordered that Cling Philip Kaipat’s period of commitment in the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners be extended until June 22, 2019.

Manglona received a request for the extension last March 11 from the MCFP. The request was dated Feb. 10, 2019.

The judge found a substantial probability that Kaipat will attain the capacity to proceed in this case with an additional 120 days of further treatment and evaluation.

The four-month period of defendant’s commitment ended last Feb. 22.

Last Oct. 19, 2016, Manglona found Kaipat mentally incompetent to understand the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him. He was committed to the MCFP on Jan. 23, 2017.

On May 19, 2017, MCFP issued a certificate of competency, establishing that Kaipat was mentally competent for his case to move forward.

In April 2018, Manglona ordered another psychiatric exam because Kaipat’s competency was questionable.

Following a competency hearing last Aug. 10, Manglona for a second time, found him mentally incompetent. The judge then committed him to the custody of the U.S. Attorney General for hospitalization and treatment. Kaipat was again at the MCFP last Oct. 25.

In granting the MCFP’s request for extension, Manglona said after a court finds a defendant mentally incompetent and commits him, the AG shall generally hospitalize that individual not exceeding four months.

However, the judge said, the court may order an additional period of hospitalization “if the court finds that there is a substantial probability that within such additional period of time [the defendant] will attain the capacity to permit the proceedings to go forward.”

In November 2017, Kaipat pleaded guilty in federal court to possession of a stolen firearm—a 9mm Smith and Wesson pistol that he stole while burglarizing Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth Govendo’s home on Saipan on Nov. 5, 2015.

In that burglary, he also stole a watch, a hunting knife, and $500 in U.S. currency. Govendo was off-island when the burglary happened.

In the Superior Court case, Kaipat pleaded guilty to burglary and theft as part of a plea deal. In November 2016, Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio sentenced him to six years in prison.

The six-year prison sentence, however, will run concurrently with the sentence in Kaipat’s conviction in the federal court case. It means that he will serve the six years in prison within whatever prison term the District Court will impose on him.

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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