Supplemental briefing sought in DOC director’s case

The prosecution and Department of Corrections director Gregory Frank Taitano Castro, who is accused of misusing a government vehicle, were directed yesterday to submit supplemental briefing on some legal issues.

Castro’s bench trial at the Superior Court was also moved to Aug. 8, 2017

Castro’s trial began on Monday, with defense counsel Rene Holmes moving to dismiss the citation, as well as a motion asking the judge, Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho, to reconsider his ruling regarding amending the citation against Castro.

Camacho heard the parties’ arguments on the motions and continued the matter yesterday at 1:30pm.

Camacho heard further the arguments from Holmes and assistant attorney general Jonathan Wilberscheid.

After hearing the arguments yesterday, the judge noted that this case may have far reaching ramifications beyond Castro’s case, which may affect how traffic cases and ethics violations are charged and filed in court.

Camacho ordered the parties to submit supplemental briefing that provides legal authority to support their positions on what must be included in a charging document to provide sufficient notice to satisfy a defendant’s due process rights, and on Castro’s motion to reconsider the court’s ruling regarding amendment of the citation.

Camacho gave the parties until July 31 at 4pm to submit their supplemental briefs.

Holmes argued that the court should dismiss the entire citation because the prosecution failed to follow the rules.

Holmes said the citation is improper as it does not include any facts and lacks a notice of the charges.

Wilberscheid argued that the citation is absolutely correct and that the court should not grant the motion to reconsider as there is no new evidence presented.

The Office of the Public Auditor allegedly caught Castro using a Corrections vehicle, a 2015 Nissan XTERRA, to go to the Marianas Country Club in Marpi in the morning of March 15, 2017, to play golf. He was cited and the vehicle was impounded.

Castro, 58, pleaded not guilty. In an earlier interview, he stated he was doing business at the Marianas Country Club when he was issued the citation.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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