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Last updateTue, 18 Dec 2018 12am

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    Sunday, December 16, 2018-11:05:43P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Judge releases suspect in fatal hit-and-run to third-party custodians

SUPERIOR Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho has granted the request of a suspect in a fatal hit-and-run incident for bail modification.

Esekiel “Easy” Smith  was released to a third-party custodian after he posted a $2,000 cash bail and his proposed third-party custodians posted a $98,000 appearance bond.

Esekiel Smith

Smith was ordered by the court to surrender his passport and draw a map to the residence of his third-party custodians and cousins, Carleen Mangremai and Larry Sharry.

The court ordered Smith to return to court on Dec. 19, 2018 at 9 a.m. for a pre-trial conference.

His jury trial will commence on March 11, 2019 at 9 a.m.

Assistant Public Defender Jean Pierre Nogues represented Smith at the hearing on Thursday while chief prosecutor Michelle Harris appeared for the government.

The hearing was held at Northern Marianas College, and among those in the gallery was the mother of the victim who cried when Smith was called. She slammed the door of the room where the hearing was being held and walked out. She later came back and listened to the proceedings.

Smith was charged with homicide by vehicle, operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license, failure to exercise due care to pedestrians, and leaving the scene of an accident without rendering assistance,

The Department of Public Safety said Smith was the driver of a vehicle that fatally struck 21-year-old Melton Agulto Jr. on Aug. 19, 2018. The victim was pronounced dead due to severe head trauma.

The 30-year-old suspect surrendered to the police on the same day with his common-law wife and stated that he did not possess a valid driver’s license.

 A homicide by vehicle charge carries a maximum punishment of 10 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.