Probable cause found vs twins in hit-and-run


A Superior Court judge has found probable cause to charge twin brothers involved in a car that mowed down a female tourist as she was walking with a friend on the shoulder of Beach Road.

In an order on Monday, Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho found probable cause to charge Vincent Laatman Muña, 22, with the crimes of attempted robbery (dangerous weapon or bodily injury) and conspiracy to commit robbery (dangerous weapon or bodily injury).

Camacho also found probable cause to charge Anthony Laatman Muña, 22, with attempted robbery (dangerous weapon or bodily injury), conspiracy to commit robbery (dangerous weapon or bodily injury), reckless driving (bodily injury), and accident involving (bodily injury): Failure to stop.

The Muña brothers were directed to respond; they will be arraigned on July 30. The preliminary hearing was held last July 20.

The two were then remanded into the custody of the Department of Corrections.

At the preliminary hearing last Friday, the judge heard the testimony of police officers Joseph Magofna and Juan Deleon Guerrero and police detective Roque Camacho.

Assistant attorney general Charles Lee appeared for the government. Anthony Muña appeared with assistant public defender Jean Pierre Nogues. Vincent Muña appeared with court-appointed counsel Mark Scoggins.

In a separate robbery case that happened at the Grotto last April 25, Camacho found probable cause to charge Anthony Muña with burglary, but no probable cause to charge him with two counts of theft.

The judge found no probable cause to charge Vicente Muña with burglary and two counts of theft.

The prosecutor moved to dismiss eight other counts of theft against Anthony and Vicente Muña. The judge accepted the motion.

In a theft case that occurred at Wing Beach last June 1, Camacho found no probable cause to charge the Muña brothers with theft.

Police said the Muña confessed to their involvement in the hit-and-run incident and admitted to other robbery cases in Marpi and Garapan. That led investigators to recover some of the stolen items belonging to the tourists that the Muña brothers had thrown away in the bushes.

Department of Public Safety crash investigator Sgt. Norris Kwon testified that, during an interview last June 11, the Muña brothers confessed they were smoking pot inside a car prior to attempting to snatch the purse of the tourist who was walking with a friend on Beach Road near Mascot Auto Parts in southern Garapan.

Kwon said that Anthony Muña admitted he was the driver of the car and that he had smoked six joints of marijuana that morning shortly before the hit-and-run incident.

In the hit-and-run case, the victim suffered multiple abrasions in the body and head.

In the robbery cases, police officer Roque K. Camacho stated in his report that Vicente Muña admitted that he and Anthony broke into a van at the Grotto and stole several bags and that they also stole a bag at Wing Beach in Marpi.

Camacho said investigation showed that a Ford passenger van loaded with 12 tourists arrived at Grotto in the afternoon of April 25, 2018.

When the tourists returned to the van after snorkeling, they discovered that the van’s window had been damaged and a piece of rock was on the driver’s seat.

Eight tourists claimed that their bags, money, cellphones, credit cards, passports, jewelry, keys, and other items were stolen. The money and some items were worth $10,492.

The Wing Beach theft case happened on the morning of June 1, 2018. An employee of the Phoenix Photo Shop, along with three tourists, had gone to the beach for picture taking.

The group placed their belongings on the sand as they walked to the boonie area for picture taking.

One of the tourists saw a man take off with their belongings on a red car.

Police said further investigation showed that the twin brothers and associates were also involved in break-ins of vehicles in Marpi and purse snatching incidents in Garapan. The cases are still pending for investigation.

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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