Two men get 13, 7 years in prison for beating up 2 others

Two men were slapped on Thursday with 13-year and seven-year prison terms over separate beatings that seriously injured two other men whom they also robbed of their wallets and other items.

Donovan S. Ludwig, 21, pleaded guilty to burglary, two counts of assault and battery, and one count of theft. Kesner Esefow, 20, pleaded guilty to burglary.

Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert C. Naraja sentenced Ludwig to 13 years in prison, with 10 years to be served day for day without the possibility of parole. After serving 10 years, Ludwig will be eligible for parole. He was given credit for 44 days of time served. He was required to pay a $100 court costs and $400 probation fees.

Naraja sentenced Esefow to 10 years in prison, with the first seven years to be served day for day without the possibility of parole. After seven years, Esefow will be eligible for parole. He was given credit for 44 days of time served.

Ludwig and Esefow were ordered to jointly pay Tatsuhiko Chubachi in the amount of $4,772.95 and the second victim, Dagger Diaz, in the amount of $2,121.31 as restitution to victims.

The defendants were also ordered to pay continuing restitution for medical expenses and associated costs for injuries suffered by Chubachi and repair or replacement of a laptop that was damaged in the attacks.

The Office of the Attorney General charged the defendants each with kidnapping, burglary, conspiracy, assault with a dangerous weapon, two counts of assault and battery, and one count of theft.

As part of the plea deal, the OAG moved to dismiss the remaining charges. The court granted the motion.

According to the factual basis of the plea agreement, on Aug. 24, 2014 at 2am on Saipan, Ludwig punched Chubachi with his fists, causing him injuries.

Later that morning at 3am, Ludwig along with Esefow entered the residence of Chubachi at an apartment in Garapan.

While inside, Ludwig struck Diaz, causing him bodily harm. Accompanied by Esefow, Ludwig then stole the property of Chubachi and Diaz, including a plastic cooler, a cell phone, a laptop, $80 in currency, and a 2005 Mazda 3 car from Chubachi’s residence.

Chief prosecutor Brian Flaherty appeared for the government at the change of plea hearing. Court-appointed counsel Robert Myers and chief public defender Douglas Hartig served as counsel for Ludwig and Esefow respectively.

According to a police report, Chubachi, 37, sustained a brain contusion, a fractured nose, a fractured eye socket, and internal head bleeding.

Diaz, 26, sustained a fractured right orbit below the eyeball, laceration on the back of the head, and a hemorrhage in the right eye.

Police said Esefow and Ludwig separately beat up the victims in Kagman and Garapan last Aug. 24. The suspects also took the victims’ wallets and other items.

Prior to the beating, police said the four were drinking, eating, and swimming at a beach on Saipan.

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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