Guilty! Jury convicts Rudy Quinata of Umatac murder

Rudy Quinata will join his girlfriend Joyner Sked in jail for the murder of Daniel Sanchez. A Superior Court of Guam jury today found him guilty of murder and could not come to a unanimous decision for the second special allegation charge. The verdict comes more than two weeks after deliberations began, and following the replay of several key witness testimony.
Guam Police Department Detective Eric Mondia and Criminal Investigations Division Detective Eric Barcinas’s testimony was played for the jury again when they requested to hear it on March 29, according to Rudy Quinata’s lawyer Peter Santos. Barcinas was the arresting officer assigned to respond to a criminal trespass complaint against Mr. Quinata on April 3, 2021, after Sanchez was killed.
According to Barcinas, Quinata was taken to GPD’s Tiyan office for further questioning regarding the deceased Daniel Sanchez found at Quinata’s Umatac home. Mr. Santos asked whether there was any physical or testimonial evidence that pointed to Rudy Quinata as the murderer. Mr. Barcinas replied, “In reference to the evidence that was gathered at the residence, I’m not too sure about that sir, I’m not the follow-up officer on that portion of the investigation. However, to witness statements, provided information given by the assisting detectives, I had probable cause to arrest Mr. Quinata.”
In attending case-briefings for the homicide investigation of Sanchez, Mr. Santos asked what information Mr. Barcinas gathered that made him decide to place Quinata under arrest. Mr. Barcinas said, “That the residence belonged to Mr. Quinata, that there was an argument that ensued that was heard by his neighbors.” Mr. Santos confirmed Mr. Barcinas was not able to rule out how many people were involved in the murder of Sanchez.
In Mr. Santos’s closing arguments he said, “You all better pray that you don’t get accused of a crime on Guam. Because according to Detective Eric Mondia, they develop a theory and then look for evidence to support it. Remember that I had to ask him twice about this. When I told one of my colleagues about what Detective Mondia said, he spit out his coffee and said that’s Bass Ackwards. My colleague is right. You must collect evidence and then develop your theory. This is why I asked Detective Mondia if they used case studies. Because if you use the method Detective Mondia described you get what is called “Tunnel Vision.” When you have tunnel vision, you miss all the critical evidence and clues because you only have selective hearing and vision. You actually ignore or discount evidence that goes against your initial theory. You heard Detective Mondia, he never changes his theory. There is overwhelming evidence of tunnel vision in this case.”
On March 30, the jury also requested to replay forensic pathologist Dr. Martin Ishikawa’s testimony once more. During cross-examination, Santos asked whether information was shared by the Guam Police Department with Dr. Ishikawa. According to Santos, the Guam Police Department did not share all the information pertaining to the case with Dr. Ishikawa. Dr. Ishikawa confirmed he was unable to narrow down the assailant beyond a person with adult strength. Based on the autopsy, it is unknown whether there was one or more assailants in the murder of Sanchez.
According to Santos, the jury then asked to replay Sirena Yamasta’s testimony. Yamasta was confined at the Department of Corrections with Quinata’s girlfriend Joyner Sked. Yamasta previously testified at Sked’s trial and tearfully revisited the last encounter she had with Sked when she met her in jail. After Sked came back from court, Sked went back to jail crying and Yamasta gave a statement regarding Sked’s jailhouse confession. “She came back crying and she stated, ‘he told on me. He told on me.’ She said that they agreed not to say anything.”
Mr. Sanchez was found in Quinata’s Umatac home, bludgeoned, and stabbed to death in April 2021. Sked was tried first and found guilty on the charge of murder. The jury could not reach a unanimous decision in relation to the special allegation charge. Quinata now faces 25 years in prison.

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