One of two involved in robbery denies all charges


One of the two defendants allegedly involved in the robbery of two woman in central Garapan over a week ago has pleaded not guilty to all the charges filed against him.

Brandon Lizama Benavente, 37, denied all the allegations and charges against him before Superior Court Presiding Judge Roberto Naraja during his arraignment last Monday.

Following the hearing, Benavente was remanded back to Department of Corrections and was ordered to return to court on Oct. 26 for a status conference before Superior Court Associate Judge Theresa Kim-Tenorio.

As for Benavente’s co-defendant, Vincent DLG Pua, 29, his hearing was moved to a later date.

The two, who are being charged with robbery, allegedly robbed two women in central Garapan on Sept. 8, 2021.

According to court documents, the two victims had been playing at Club 88 when one of them received a call from a friend at around 9:19pm asking to meet them at a karaoke bar. One of the victims cashed out her winnings of $60 before she and her companion left the establishment.

One of the victims said that, as they were walking toward the karaoke bar, a black sedan that was heading south stopped beside them and a man whose face was covered came out, grabbed her wallet from under her arm before running back into the black sedan and speeding away.

In a statement to the police, Benavente said that, prior to the incident, he saw his friend, Pua, at Club 88 and, when he finished playing, he got up and exited though the back door with Pua following behind him.
Benavente told police that while outside, they saw two Chinese females exit Club 88, one of whom was holding a purse and the other a wallet.

The two defendants decided to rob the women, but Benavente said he changed his mind and told Pua to “just forget about it.” Pua allegedly told Benavente that they had to do it.

Benavente admitted that he jumped out of the car, grabbed the woman’s wallet, and jumped back into the vehicle. He also said Pua threw the victim’s cell phone by the parking lot next to Club 88’s back exit door because it began ringing.

In Pua’s statement to the police, he said prior to the incident, he arrived at Club 88 and saw Benavente who asked him to follow him to his car.

Pua said when he got into the front passenger seat, Benavente started driving toward Orchid Poker before parking the car.

Pua said Benavente then jumped up from his seat and told Pua to get into the driver’s seat and start driving. Pua said they were on Puti Tainobiu Ave. when Benavente jumped out of the car and grabbed something from a woman and jumped back into the car.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores 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
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