This coming Saturday, it will have been two years since a woman and her three passengers crashed into and destroyed Jerry’s Kitchen with a Red Jeep. It has been nearly two years since former attorney general Leevin Camacho had one of the four women present in the Jeep that night – Nakita Aguon – charged with misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.
Ms. Aguon, who only faces 48 hours in prison if convicted, has asserted her innocence, and is fighting the charges at her expense. She has been on trial since last summer. Several delays have prolonged the trial, including the medical condition of the judge assigned to the case, Judge Alberto Tolentino.
During the trial, which was still on the prosecution’s case-in-chief, when the judge recessed the jury in December, prosecutor Grant Olan made numerous admissions in a filing that raised questions as to whether Ms. Aguon was the driver that evening. Ms. Aguon’s attorney, David Lujan, raised evidence in front of the jury showing Ms. Aguon was not the driver; a woman with a muscular build and visible tattoos was, according to the lone eye witness.
Despite these facts, prosecutor Sean Brown has moved to continue the case and to have the case reassigned to another judge. Mr. Lujan filed an opposition to the motion (which we provide in full along with all attachments in the images below), that in summary makes the following on-the-record allegations:
- Ayesha Barcinas was the actual driver of the Red Jeep, according to the lone eye witness
- The eye witness, Ruthie Pachemwai, told this to both police investigators, and to prosecutor Sean Brown
- The first officer at the scene – Chris Champion – did not speak to Nakita Aguon; only to one of the passengers, off-duty police officer Joneen Terlaje
- Champion then instructed officer Eugenius Pewtress to issue a citation for imprudent driving to Ms. Aguon.
- The prosecutor, rather than dismissing the case based on the lack of evidence against Aguon and the lone witness testimony asserting Ms. Barcinas was the actual driver, has moved for a change of judge and continuation of trial.
- The mistakes by prosecution in this case, which come at the expense of Ms. Aguon and criminal justice, occurred during what defense attorneys term the “Camacho Dynasty,” referring to former attorney general Leevin Camacho, and remnants of his administration as AG.
Concluding Mr. Lujan’s filing, verbatim:
In spite of the above, which began and occurred during the stewardship of former AG Leevin Camacho, the People, is requesting the Court:
- To reassign the case to a different Judge without informing about the facts of, and, lack of evidence to support the charge herein.
- To have a Judge of the Superior Court spend numerous hours to familiarize herself or himself with the true facts since the Prosecuting Attorney has failed to attach the said evidence.
- To have the Court waste precious resources it lacks which might be interpreted by some as a cover-up of Leevin Camacho’s flawed Prosecution practice.
- To have the Court waste resources to pay for the remaining (6) six Jurors’ time; but worse to have those Jurors spend additional scores of hours in the hope of getting a guilty verdict to save Leevin Camacho’s lack of supervision himself, or, by those of his subordinates then.