De Soto charged with three counts of murder
- Last Updated on Friday, February 15, 2013 01:35
- By Geraldine Castillo - [email protected] - Variety News Staff
HAGÅTÑA — Another victim died before noon yesterday, bringing the death toll to three of 14 victims injured during a young man’s rampage in Tumon three days ago.
The latest death prompted an additional count of aggravated murder against 21-year-old Chad Ryan De Soto.
The third victim, identified as 51-year-old Hitoshi Yakota of Japan, died two days after De Soto drove his car through Pleasure Island in Tumon, striking several tourists, then ramming into the ABC Store below Hard Rock Café after which he exited his car and began stabbing bystanders at random.
De Soto was charged yesterday with three counts of aggravated murder as a first degree felony; attempted aggravated murder as a first degree felony; and eight counts of aggravated assault as a second degree felony. All charges were attached with a special allegation of possession and use of a deadly weapon.
The Office of the Attorney General has moved to increase the bail amount to $3 million cash.
Details in the declaration of an amended magistrate complaint that was filed in Superior Court shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday clarified the sequence of events on Tuesday.
Eyewitness reports and footage from a surveillance camera at SandCastle were brought to the attention of the Guam Police Department.
According to the amended document, officers determined that De Soto was proceeding northbound on Route 14 and drove his vehicle onto the entrance of SandCastle and then onto the sidewalk in front of SandCastle and the Globe Night Club.
Contrary to previous reports, the stabbing did not begin in that area.
“The defendant then struck four people who were walking on the sidewalk,” court documents stated. The man who died yesterday was one of the individuals struck that evening.
Court documents went on to state that De Soto continued driving on the sidewalk from SandCastle and Globe all the way to the ABC Store located outside the Outrigger Guam Resort.
“The defendant struck several more people, including 8-month-old R.S., who were in front of the Outrigger Hotel/ Jungle Java Café and the Plaza shopping center in front of the ABC Store,” court documents stated. The 8-month-old child was in a stroller when injured by the vehicle.
After De Soto rammed into ABC Store, he exited the vehicle wielding a knife and began stabbing a Japanese family, according to court documents.
Kazuko Uehara, 81, was stabbed twice and died at the scene. Uehara’s daughter, Rie Sugiyama, 29, also died as she was stabbed approximately five times while protecting her, 8-month-old child. The husband of Rie, Yusuke Sugiyama was stabbed while trying to protect their other 3-year-old child. Both children were injured by the knife.
A local woman, Kaylani Quichocho, was also attacked by DesSoto who cut her on the back of the head/neck, court documents stated.
Of the 14 victims, six were struck by the suspect’s car:
Eight individuals were injured by the suspect’s knife:
R.S. (three years old)
Jane Doe II
R.S. (eight months old)
During yesterday’s press conference with government officials at Adelup, a reporter from a Japan-based newspaper asked, “Do you think he targeted Japanese?”
GPD Col. Maurice Sayama replied, “At this point, we have no information that confirms that, nor do we speculate on that. We do know that one local person was victimized as well.”
Gov. Eddie Calvo chimed in, adding that there was no connection between the crime and race.
“To this point we have seen no connection between this random act of violence and it being pointed to any type of racial demographic,” he said. “For a small island we are probably one of the most diverse racially as well as religiously. I do believe this is a multi-racial ethnic community that has lived in harmony.”
He added, “But at this point there is nothing connecting any type of race or nationality to this type of violence.”
For his part, Guam Visitors Bureau Chairman Mark Baldyga reassured members of the local and international media at yesterday’s press conference that visitor-industry members have been providing care and services to the victims and their families.
“GVB efforts have been focused on ensuring that the victims and their families are being taken care of as well as possible,” he said.
Calvo reflected on the recent events and echoed Baldyga’s statements.
“This has been a very, very dark time for the people of Guam. As we move forward, our number one commitment is to ensure that everything is done for the victims of this tragedy and their families. That is our number one priority. Number two, is that justice will be served for that individual,” he said, referring to De Soto.