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High court rejects appeal of convicted murderer

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THE local Supreme Court on Monday rejected the appeal of Sylvestre Rogopes Sablan who was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment with five years suspended after admitting that he murdered his wife, Ana Pialur Limes, in April 2015.

In sentencing Sablan, the trial court also stated that he will not be eligible for early release or parole and he will serve 10 years’ probation after his release.

In his appeal, Sablan told the high court that the waiver of the right of appeal should not be enforced as to parole and probation. “Because the terms of parole and probation were determined at a sentencing hearing after the plea bargain was signed, he contended that they were outside the scope of the waiver. Alternatively, he argued that the waiver was unenforceable because enforcing it would work a miscarriage of justice.”

Sylvestre Rogopes Sablan is escorted by a Corrections officer in the hallway of the judicial building on Jan. 3, 2018. Photo by Bryan Manabat

In their ruling, Chief Justice Alexandro Castro, Justice John Manglona, and Justice Perry B. Inos noted that under a plea agreement, Sablan waived a number of procedural rights, including the right to appeal his sentence and disposition.

Chief Prosecutor John Bradley believed that this is the first successful motion of the government to dismiss an appeal.

“I have been promoting the waiver of the right to appeal as part of our plea agreements with criminal defendants,” Bradley said.

“We have adjusted our paperwork to clarify that the defendant is giving up his right to appeal, making sure that the victim is protected from long appeals.

“So, we are glad to see that the Supreme Court approves of the waivers and is enforcing them against the defendant.”

He added: “This will improve the application of justice in our courts and hold criminal defendants accountable for their decision to accept a plea agreement.”

It was Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio who sentenced Sablan in August 2018.

“The manner in which you ended her life is beyond brutal,” the judge told Sablan. “Your actions in killing her were not quick or without suffering — you broke her emotionally and literally.”

In his appeal, Sablan was represented by the office of the Public Defender while the government was represented by Assistant Attorney General J. Robert Glass Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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