HAGATNA, Guam — A man on trial for murder knew exactly what he was doing when he went on a deadly crash and stabbing rampage in Guam that killed three Japanese tourists and injured 11 others, a prosecutor said in his closing argument Wednesday.
Chad Ryan DeSoto, 22, planned last year’s attack and targeted victims who resembled or symbolized a girlfriend who had recently dumped him, Chief Prosecutor Phillip Tydingco said in a nearly three-hour presentation that included video, photographs, charts and audio playback of phone conversations.
The Japanese visitors had arrived on Guam on the morning of the attack. “They came to Guam to celebrate life, and they were confronted with death or a man trying to cause their death,” Tydingco said.
Kazuko Uehara, 81, and Rie Sugiyama, 29, were stabbed to death. Hitoshi Yokota, 51, was hit by a car and died in a hospital two days later. The 11 injured included an 8-month-old girl and a 2-year-old girl.
DeSoto has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness.
But he knew right from wrong when he barreled his car down a sidewalk, crashed into a convenience store, then got out and stabbed bystanders, the prosecutor said.
“From the evidence, we learned the defendant is highly intelligent, articulate, that he was depressed, angry about his life,” Tydingco said.
DeSoto selected the heart of a tourist area “to make certain no one ignores him,” Tydingco said.
“Tell this actor, the defendant, that this is not a theater play, this is not a movie script, it’s not a TV show for him to get control over his girlfriend,” Tydingco said, urging the jury to convict him of aggravated murder and aggravated attempted murder. “Don’t let him walk out of here on (a) temporary insanity defense, that he doesn’t have mental responsibility, when the evidence shows he does.”
The defense is expected to deliver a closing argument on Thursday, followed by the prosecution’s rebuttal.