Crime Ex-cop awaits sentencing for killing fellow officer

07:35  19 june  2017
07:35  19 june  2017 Source:   USA TODAY

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U.S. District Judge Alvin Thompson’s courtroom was packed at 11 a.m., as Cari’s family, friends and fellow officers sat on one side of the aisle to await sentencing . On the other side of the aisle sat Ecuadorean residents of East Haven

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Mark Torre Jr., center, exits the courtroom surrounded by family and his attorney, Joaquin © PDN file photo Mark Torre Jr., center, exits the courtroom surrounded by family and his attorney, Joaquin "Jay" Arriola Jr., after the verdict was read in this March 2, 2017 file photo. Torre was found guilty of negligent homicide in the 2015 shooting death of Elbert Piolo.

HAGÅTÑA, Guam — The ex-police officer convicted in the shooting death of Guam Police Department Sgt. Elbert Piolo is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday.

The last time Mark Torre Jr. was in court, he was standing before the jury that convicted him of negligent homicide, aggravated assault and two special allegations of possession and use of a deadly weapon.

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Torre is scheduled to return to court this week to be sentenced by Judge Michael Bordallo. For the negligent homicide charge, the former cop faces up to three years in prison.

For the special allegation convictions, the judge may sentence Torre anywhere from 5 years to 25 years imprisonment.

The law states that special allegations cannot be served at the same time as the sentence imposed for a felony.

Piolo, who was a longtime police officer and detailed to executive security as Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio’s driver in 2015, was shot once below his right armpit with Torre’s gun in the early morning hours of July 13, 2015.

Piolo had dropped Torre off at home in Yigo after a night of drinking at Tumon bars. After he was shot, Piolo called 911. He was heard in the recorded call telling the operator, “He shot me.”

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So you found seven random people that got heavy sentences , not one of whom was a cop or ex - cop and one that had actually killed a cop , and that somehow proves that cops get harsh sentences when they commit crimes against regular people? Impressive.

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Torre testified that he had an alcohol-induced black out that night and recalled fragments of memories, though he did not remember the shooting itself. The defense argued during trial that Piolo shot himself.

The chief medical examiner, Dr. Aurelio Espinola, conducted an autopsy of Piolo’s body and concluded that Piolo’s death was a homicide, not a suicide. Espinola testified that there were no signs of a struggle.

Jurors deliberated over two days after sitting through about a month of trial before reaching a unanimous verdict.

Though they found Torre guilty of negligent homicide, they found him not guilty of murder and manslaughter. Because he was acquitted he cannot be charged with those crimes again.

Disappointment

The verdict came as a disappointment for the Piolo family.

After the verdict was announced, Piolo’s mother Jerelyn Piolo said through tears that they expected Torre to go to jail for a lifetime for the death of her son. Edison Piolo, Elbert Piolo’s brother, said the conviction was a slap on the wrist.

Torre, through his attorney Joaquin Arriola Jr., made a motion for a judgment of acquittal after the verdict.

Assistant Deputy Attorney General Joseph McDonald on June 13 objected to an acquittal.

“After a trial on the merits, a jury found Torre guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” McDonald stated.

“Torre was a decorated army veteran, a respected officer and a recent SWAT course graduate. He was expertly trained as law enforcement and a professional soldier in the safe and deadly handling of guns,” McDonald stated.

The Piolo family was recently awarded $10,238.93 for funeral costs and medical expenses.

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