Mom of Guam rampage suspect describes depression


HAGATNA, Guam — The mother of a man accused of killing three people in a busy tourist area of Guam said Monday her son descended into depression after his grandfather died and his girlfriend moved off the island.

Rae DeSoto testified that her son Chad DeSoto fell into bad health as he mourned his grandfather, leading to irrational fears, loss of appetite and insomnia.

“It threw him into a depression where he just started questioning life and death,” Rae DeSoto said.

She said the changes in her son happened months before he plowed a car onto a busy sidewalk in a resort area, then got out and stabbed bystanders.

Chad DeSoto has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness.

His mother said he feared he would die if he was touched by rain, and was afraid of termites.

His defense lawyers told jurors they shouldn’t hold it against him if DeSoto doesn’t testify.

Prosecutors rested their case earlier Monday with the widower of 29-year-old Rie Sugiyama, who was killed in the incident. Yasuke Sugiyama testified that DeSoto also stabbed him, his grandmother and slashed his 3-month-old daughter’s right cheek.

“My life is ruined because of this,” Yasuke Sugiyama said. “I have two children, my two daughters, both the older and the younger, they’re still young and just imagining how they will live their life without their mother from now on, I only feel sadness for their lives.”

The family was in Guam for the wedding of his wife’s brother.

Joseph Hernandez, 21, a friend of DeSoto from high school, said DeSoto went into a “hermit-like state” and didn’t want to talk to anyone. Hernandez said he was working the night of the incident and recognized the car as belonging to DeSoto’s family.

“I broke down,” he said.

Rae DeSoto said she wasn’t allowed to talk to her son for several hours the night he was taken into custody. She said when she did see him, he spoke about world hunger, oppression and said “We’ve all been lied to.”

“He did say he knows he’s going to jail,” she said. “(He said) ‘I don’t belong here.’”