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Back Local News Inmate rights case set for September trial

Inmate rights case set for September trial

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AN INMATE who has been challenging his conviction and complaining of his rights violation since 2001 will finally have his day in court in September.

Frank Edward Pangelinan is serving a life sentence without parole after he was found guilty in 1999 of various offenses, including aggravated murder, kidnapping, aggravated assault, and hindering apprehensions with special allegations of use and possession of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.

Aside from life in prison, he was sentenced to serve 145 years – all to be served consecutively.

In 2001, Pangelinan filed a petition for habeas corpus against the Department of Corrections and asked for appointment of counsel.

In 2003, Judge Steven Unpingco summarily dismissed his petition and his request for an attorney for lack of merit.

Pangelinan revived his complaint on Feb. 23, 2006, alleging negligence by DOC in overseeing and protecting inmates and complained that DOC does not provide legal assistance to inmates. He asked the trial court again in January 2012, but this was turned down.

On May 1, 2012, Pangelinan filed another petition for writ of habeas corpus before the District Court of Guam, raising three issues: ineffective assistance of lead defense counsel during trial, an appearance of impropriety when co-counsel represented him during the appeal stages, and ineffective assistance of lead defense counsel to assert an affirmative defense during the trial.

Opposed

Assistant Attorney General Marianne Woloshuck opposed Pangelinan’s request for appointment of counsel and moved to dismiss the habeas petition on June 21, 2012.

The court gave Pangelinan time to respond to the motion to dismiss but the inmate wrote to the court requesting appointment of counsel.

Pangelinan claimed he needs counsel appointed to him because he has no other counsel than a jailhouse lawyer to help him work on procedures and research cases.

Capt. Jessie Q. Tupaz, DOC facility assistant superintendent, has described Pangelinan as a career criminal who has an extensive criminal history dating back to the inmate’s days as a juvenile.

In information provided to the Attorney General's Office, Tupaz said Pangelinan sued the government for $500,000 due to injuries he received during a disturbance involving another inmate on Aug. 29, 2003.

Tupaz said Pangelinan was brought to GMH and was released after treatment.

His assailant was charged and faced disciplinary charges.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled on Sept. 16 at 2 p.m.

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