HAGATNA, Guam — A Guam judge has handed down suspended sentences to two court witnesses who violated an order by speaking to a man who was on trial for killing three Japanese tourists.
Raeanne Acasio and Michele Fatovic won't go to prison, but misdemeanor convictions will appear on their records. They will go to prison for 60 days, however, if they don't report to a probation officer or abide by other conditions set by the judge.
Acasio is the girlfriend of 22-year-old Chad DeSoto, who was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for the killings. Fatovic, 33, is his cousin and babysat DeSoto when he was younger.
Superior Court of Guam Judge Anita Sukola told the women Friday she wanted them to know they must follow the court's orders.
"I just want these two young ladies to understand the magnitude and the gravity of what they had done, and also the magnitude and gravity of their responsibility," Sukola said.
Both women apologized to the judge.
DeSoto was convicted of killing 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 in the crash and stabbing rampage, including two children.
DeSoto had pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness. His lawyers argued he spiraled out of control into psychosis after his grandfather died and his girlfriend moved to Utah.
DeSoto's mother, Rae Aiko DeSoto, also faces contempt of court charges for communicating with DeSoto during the trial. Her hearing is scheduled for Nov. 18.
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