Probable cause found in murder charge vs Parongan


Assistant attorney general Teri C. Tenorio talks with police detective Buddy S. Igitol as other police officers sit on a bench outside the courtroom of Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho shortly before the start of the preliminary hearing yesterday afternoon in the case against murder suspect Alfonso Sebastian Parongan. (Ferdie de la Torre)

Probable cause has been found for murder charges to move forward against Alfonso Sebastian Parongan.

At a preliminary hearing yesterday, Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho said there is probable cause to believe that Parongan may have committed the knife attack that killed a woman and injured her husband in Chalan Kanoa.

Parongan faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Camacho, however, found no probable cause to believe that the crime of second-degree murder was committed because it is a lesser-included offense in the first-degree murder charge. The second-degree murder charge was dismissed.

Arraignment will be on Nov. 13, 2017, before Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja.

On the witness stand, police detective Buddy Salas Igitol talked about the police investigation and interview with the 55-year-old Parongan, who allegedly admitted attacking the couple with a kitchen knife in the evening of Oct. 29, 2017.

Igitol said a police officer recovered the knife on the ground near a jungle area where Parongan tried to hide after the attack.

The detective said that Parongan, who was also taken to the hospital, was soaked in urine, had bloodstains, and was unclear in his response to questions.

In an interview with Parongan the following morning, he allegedly told detectives that he had smoked methamphetamine six times and drank 12 cans of beer on the day of the incident.

Josefina Pineda, 53, suffered multiple stab wounds, including a fatal 4-inch slash in the neck, according to Igitol.

Her husband, Antonio Barit, 62, sustained 12 injuries to the head, upper body, and right arm.

Pineda was allegedly trying to collect house rental from Parongan at that time.

Assistant attorney general Teri C. Tenorio and chief prosecutor Michele Harris appeared for the government at the hearing. Assistant public defender Nancy Dominski served as counsel for Parongan.

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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