HAGATNA, Guam — A Guam man was convicted of manslaughter Monday after a 2013 bar fight in which he held a man in a chokehold even after the victim lost consciousness.
The Pacific Daily News reports that a jury on Monday found Carl Gargarita not guilty of a more serious charge of murder, which would have carried a possible sentence of life in prison.
The manslaughter charge carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, prosecutors said. He will be sentenced Sept. 12.
Gargarita was accused of killing Anthony Giralao in a fight outside a bar in Tumon in June 2013.
Gargarita was drinking with Giralao’s ex-wife, when she called Giralao at Gargarita’s prompting. Witnesses said during the trial that Giralao pulled up to the club, then charged at Gargarita. The men fought until Gargarita choked Giralao. One witness said she grabbed Gargarita’s arm to get him to release his hold.
Gargarita argued he acted in self-defense.
Prosecutors argued that by holding Giralao in the choke after he lost consciousness, Gargarita committed murder.
The verdict disappointed
“(We were) expecting for murder,” said Cindy Nisay, Giralao’s cousin. “He’s just a good boy, a family man.”
Prosecutor Gerald Henderson said he was satisfied with the verdict, but he was hopeful for a murder conviction.
Gargarita’s lawyer, Peter Sablan, declined comment.