Witness: Quinata was afraid of Sked

The prosecution rested in the Rudy Quinata murder trial on Wednesday after calling their last witness, forensic pathologist Dr. Martin Ishikawa.  Defense attorney Peter Santos called all six of his witnesses on Thursday.  The defense has rested, and the jury soon will be given the case for verdict.

On Wednesday, Gerard Damian, a resident of Chalan Pago, testified to the night of April 3, 2021, when he encountered Mr. Quinata.  Forensic pathologist Dr. Martin Ishikawa then took the stand next and under cross-examination, new information was revealed.

April 3, 2021 was an eventful day for Quinata.  Prior to Mr. Damian taking the stand, an earlier witness testified that he got an unexpected visit from Quinata, where he asked for a ride and a drink of water.  Mr. Damian told the jury about a similar visit at his parents’ home in Barrigada.  Mr. Damian was bringing dinner to his parents when his nephew, Eric Leon Guerrero, told Mr. Damian that his “homeboy” was there.  When Mr. Damian approached Quinata, he realized he did not know him and was apprehensive because Quinata was a “large man.”

Quinata asked for a cigarette and requested to use a phone because he wanted to turn himself into the police.  Mr. Damian allowed his nephew to dial the number for Quinata but while Quinata was on the phone, he kept walking closer to Mr. Damian’s parents’ home.  Trying to coax Quinata away from his parents’ home, Mr. Damian told him he should go toward the street to wait for the police.  After several attempts, Mr. Damian tackled Mr. Quinata while his nephew helped restrain him until the police arrived.

Dr. Ishikawa took the stand last for the prosecution and was questioned about the injuries to Daniel Sanchez when he examined him.  According to Dr. Ishikawa, an adult assailant would have caused the injuries to Sanchez.  Sanchez had a total of 23 stab wounds, nine stab wounds to the front of his body and 14 in the back.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Peter 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.  Ishikawa was the last witness for the prosecution.

Rudy Quinata’s ex-girlfriend Anna Austin took the stand Thursday for the defense and told the court she would help Quinata and Sked from time to time.  She described their relationship as, “Very dramatic.  As a person outside the relationship, up and down.  Many bad, bad times.”  Mr. Santos asked Ms. Austin if Quinata was afraid of Sked.  Ms. Austin said, “Yes,” and did not find it odd.  She described Sked as a “Bully,” and in reference to how Sked would treat her and Quinata’s daughter, Ms. Austin said, “Depending if she was sober or not, she was playful with my daughter, initially.”  Ms. Austin also said, “I was asked not to bring my daughter to his house because he didn’t want my daughter around Joyner.  Because he was afraid of the influence or the fights that she’s witnessed.”

A previous witness from Joyner Sked’s trial gave her testimony once again.  Sirena Yamasta 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 Post eight at the Department of Corrections, 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.”

When the defense rested its case, Judge Vernon Perez asked Quinata if it was his wish to rest his case and decline to testify.  Mr. Quinata said, “Truly.”  Quinata is being charged with the murder of former Umatac mayor Daniel Sanchez.  Mr. Sanchez was found in Quinata’s Umatac home, bludgeoned, and stabbed to death in April 2021.  The jury will hear closing arguments Monday.

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