Smith to serve 5-year imprisonment

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Esekiel “Easy” Smith pleaded guilty to all allegations made against him and will be serving a five-year prison term immediately.

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph Camacho said that Smith, 31, will be serving a five-year and six-month imprisonment with six months suspended for an auto-pedestrian incident that killed a person. Smith was given credit for the 180 days he had already served.

Smith, who appeared out of custody, was escorted back to the Department of Public Safety to serve his sentence immediately.

Camacho also said that Smith would be eligible for work release, something he doesn’t allow very often.

Camacho said that he would allow Smith work release while he serves his sentence because he appreciated that Smith showed great remorse for his crime. “The fact that you turned yourself in carries a lot of weight,” he said yesterday.

Work release means that Smith would be able to work while incarcerated.

Aside from imprisonment, Smith will also serve probation after he is released, and would pay court fines and restitution to the family of the victim.

Smith pleaded guilty to count one, leaving the scene of the accident, and count two, reckless driving.

Smith was represented by Office of the Public Defender’s Jean Pierre Nogues, while Office of the Attorney General’s Robert Glass represented the government.

During his change of plea hearing, Smith was given the opportunity to tell the court what happened, in his own words, during the accident.

Smith said that he was driving home close to midnight in Puerto Rico and it was dark and raining. Smith said that he was driving around 40mph and should’ve been driving at a safer speed. Smith told the court that after hitting the victim, he continued to drive away because he panicked and was scared. He later decided to turn himself in because he felt extremely guilty. “I turned myself in because I feel guilty that I hit someone. I know I was wrong to hit someone. All I can say is sorry,” Smith said.

On Aug. 19, 2018 at approximately 3:37am, DPS received a call about an auto-pedestrian incident adjacent to the Commonwealth Utility Corp. power plant.

Upon arriving at the scene, officers met with the caller who had reported the incident.

According to the caller, he was heading north when he noticed a man lying on the ground. He immediately stopped to call authorities.

DPS reported that the victim had noticeable injuries, was unconscious, and was partially lying on the shoulder of the northbound outer lane.

Medics arrived shortly after and rushed the victim to the Commonwealth Health Center where he was pronounced dead at 4:01am.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista 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 kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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