Guam man found guilty of murder in rampage

Guam man found guilty of murder in rampage

August 4th, 2014 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

HAGATNA, Guam - A jury convicted a Guam man Monday of murdering three Japanese tourists in a crash and stabbing rampage last year that hurt 11 others.

The panel of 10 women and two men rejected the mental illness defense of 22-year-old Chad Ryan DeSoto. His lawyers argued he spiraled out of control into psychosis after his grandfather died and his girlfriend moved to Utah.

The jury agreed with prosecutors who say DeSoto knew what he was doing during the attack in a busy tourist spot on Feb. 12, 2013. DeSoto was accused of barreling his car down a busy sidewalk, crashing it into a convenience store and getting out and stabbing people who were nearby.

DeSoto was also convicted of attempted murder. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced Sept. 25.

The rampage rocked the small island U.S. territory and raised questions of tourist safety in Japan and elsewhere. Guam's economy depends heavily on tourism.

The tourists killed were 81-year-old Kazuko Uehara and 29-year-old Rie Sugiyama, who were stabbed to death; and Hitoshi Yokota, 51, who was hit by a car and died in a hospital two days later. Another 11 people were injured, including two children.

Prosecutors argued DeSoto planned the attack, targeting victims who resembled or symbolized his girlfriend, who had recently dumped him.

The jury received voluminous instructions before starting deliberations July 18, with jury instructions that took nearly five hours for Judge Anita Sukola to read and more than 100 pages of verdict sheets. The instructions included information on convicting DeSoto of lesser offenses.