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    Monday, June 17, 2019-8:39:24P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Court reduces robbery suspect’s bail to $20,000

ASSISTANT Attorney General Frances Demapan asked Superior Court Judge Joseph N. Camacho to maintain the $100,000 cash bail initially imposed on Artemia Gabayeron, the Royal Poker robbery suspect, due to the nature of the offense.

But Chief Public Defender Douglas Hartig said his client does not have a history of criminal activities and should be released on an unsecured bond with bail reduced to $20,000.

Artemia Gabayeron, escorted by a court marshal and a Corrections officer, walks toward the courtroom at the Marianas Business Plaza on Monday for her bail hearing. Photo by Bryan Manabat

Demapan said Gabayeron threatened another person with a knife, adding that robbery carries a maximum punishment of 20 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine, while the maximum penalty for assault with a dangerous weapon is 10 years imprisonment and $10,000 fine.

After hearing the arguments from both parties, Judge Camacho reduced Gabayeron’s bail to $20,000.

The 51-year-old defendant was then remanded to the custody of the Department of Correction.

Judge Camacho also directed the police to release to the defendant’s husband their food stamp ID, ATM card, and the husband’s passport. The items were in her possession when she was arrested at her residence in As Terlaje at the back of YCO Hardware.

Gabayeron will return to court on April 24 at 9 a.m. for a preliminary hearing, and on April 29 at 9 a.m. for her arraignment.

The Office of the Attorney General has charged Gabayeron with robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon and disturbing the peace.

According to the prosecution, Gabayeron was identified by her hotel employer after police issued a media release about the robbery at Royal Poker.

On Friday morning, the hotel’s human resource manager told police that Gabayeron had been placed on administrative leave pending investigation.

The HR manager also told police where the suspect resides.

At 5:01 p.m. Friday, police arrived at Gabayeron’s residence. She gave consent to search her apartment.

“During the search, investigators procured a blue, green, gray and white stripe colored umbrella, a pair of black ‘I Love Saipan’ slippers and a black and orange Lasika brand wristwatch. These items were seen on Gabayeron through surveillance footage at the scene of the incident.”

The robbery at Royal Poker occurred at about 6:45 a.m. on April 11, 2019.

Police said the suspect, wielding a knife, demanded $1,000 from the cashier of Royal Poker who had stepped out of the cashier’s box to use the restroom.

The suspect told the cashier to open the cashier’s door “or she would get cut,” so the cashier complied.

The cashier said she felt the knife pressing on her lower back so she reached behind both hands and held the knife to prevent it from poking her.

Police said the cashier tried to push the suspect, but the suspect managed to open the cashier’s drawer and took $649. She left the poker arcade at around 6:47 a.m.

On Saturday, the cashier was shown a photo lineup at the Criminal Investigation Bureau office. She positively identified Gabayeron as the person who robbed her.