Deliberations to begin in Guam crash-stabbing case
HAGATNA, Guam — Jurors are expected to begin deliberating Friday in a murder trial against a man accused of killing three Japanese tourists in a crash and stabbing rampage in Guam.
Closing arguments ended Thursday with Chad Ryan DeSoto’s public defender reiterating his client’s mental illness defense.
DeSoto has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to charges of aggravated murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors say the 22-year-old knew what he was doing when he barreled his car down a sidewalk, crashed into a convenience store, then got out and stabbed bystanders. Eleven others, including two children, were injured in last year’s attack in a busy tourist spot.
“The defendant claims not to have been criminally responsible at the time of the crimes,” public defender Eric Miller told jurors. “The mental responsibility of the defendant at the time of the crime charged is therefore a question for you to decide — at the time of the crimes charged, not before, not after.”
During the trial, the defense tried to show that DeSoto spiraled into depression that led to psychosis after his grandfather died and his girlfriend moved to Utah.
“I want you to have the courage and integrity to decide this case only on evidence and not emotion,” Miller told jurors. “You cannot let emotions stir you away from what you know your duty is.”
DeSoto planned the attack and targeted victims who resembled or symbolized the girlfriend who had recently dumped him, Chief Prosecutor Phillip Tydingco said in a nearly three-hour closing argument Wednesday.