Twins in hit-and-run, rob try get 3 years in prison


The twin brothers who were charged over an attempted robbery-snatching and hit-and-run involving a car that mowed down a female tourist along Beach Road in Garapan last year pleaded guilty last Friday and were slapped with a three-year prison term.

Anthony Laatman Muña, 23, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery, and accident involving injury/failure to stop.

Vincent Laatman Muna, 23, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery.

The Muñas were sentenced to five years imprisonment, all suspended except for three years.

They will then be placed on three-year probation. If they violate their probation, they may be re-incarcerated for the suspended balance of two years of their sentence, said Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph M. Camacho.

The brothers were ordered to each pay $25 in court fee and $120 a year for probation fee.

Vicente Muña, through counsel Mark Scoggins, asked to be allowed to start serving his sentence at a later time but Camacho denied it.

Assistant attorney general Robert “Charles” Lee appeared for the government. Assistant public defender Jean Pierre Nogues appeared as counsel for Anthony Muña, while Scoggins served as court-appointed counsel for Vincent Muña.

The Office of the Attorney General had charged Anthony Muña with attempted robbery (dangerous weapon or bodily injury), conspiracy to commit robbery (dangerous weapon or bodily injury), reckless driving (bodily injury), and accident involving injury: failure to stop. The charges carry a possible maximum sentence of 16 years in prison.

Vincent Muña was charged with attempted robbery (dangerous weapon or bodily injury), and conspiracy to commit robbery (dangerous weapon or bodily harm). The charges carry a possible maximum sentence of 15 years.

On Jan. 30, 2019, the OAG filed an amended its charges against Anthony Muña, where he faced a possible maximum sentence of six years. The charges against Vincent Muña was also amended where he faced a maximum sentence of five years.

The Muñas then signed a plea deal.

According to police, the Muña brothers were driving a rented vehicle down Beach Road on June 8, 2018, when they tried to snatch the purses of two female tourists who were walking along the shoulder of the road.

Anthony Muña was the driver and Vicente Muña was in the car’s front passenger’s seat.

Upon seeing two female pedestrians—Yao Yang and Yanbo Wu—the Muña brothers agreed that Anthony would drive close to the pedestrians and Vicente would reach from the car and grab the purses from the two.

Anthony Muña did a U-turn of the vehicle and then drove toward the tourists. Vicente Muña reached from the car and grabbed one of the tourist’s purses. However, Vicente Muña was unsuccessful.

Anthony Muña hit the tourist with the car, causing injuries to her. He did not stop the car.

A video from a nearby store’s surveillance camera captured the hit-and-run incident.

Both Muñas confessed their involvement to police and named other suspects who also committed purse snatching robberies in Garapan. The prosecution said the information proved valuable in solving these robberies.

As part of the plea deal and in recognition of their cooperation with police, the OAG agreed not to charge them in relation to another robbery that occurred on June 7, 2018, in which a woman was the alleged victim.

In an interview on June 11, 2018, the Muña brothers allegedly told police they were smoking marijuana inside the 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.

Anthony Muña allegedly admitted being the driver of the car and that he had smoked six joints of marijuana that morning shortly after the hit-and-run incident.

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

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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