- Associated Press - Friday, March 3, 2017

HAGATNA, Guam (AP) - A former Guam police officer has been found guilty of negligent homicide in connection to the 2015 shooting death of a fellow officer, but more serious charges have been dropped.

A Superior Court of Guam jury on Thursday found Mark Torre Jr. guilty of negligent homicide but acquitted him of murder and manslaughter, The Pacific Daily News reported (https://bit.ly/2lHh8Ku). He was also found guilty of felony aggravated assault and two special allegations of possession and use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.

Sgt. Elbert Piolo was shot with Torre’s gun inside his truck at Torre’s house on July 13, 2015.

Defense attorneys had argued Piolo was distraught over an extramarital affair and shot himself with Torre’s weapon as the other officer tried to stop him.

Chief Prosecutor Phillip Tydingco said negligent homicide normally carries a sentence of zero to five years in prison, but because Torre is a first-time offender, they will recommend zero to three years. With the additional charges, Torre could be sentenced to a maximum of 28 years in prison.

Torre declined to comment after the verdict, but his attorney Joaquin Arriola Jr. thanked the jury.

“On behalf of the Torre family, we express our sincere thanks to the jury for taking the time and effort to sit through this very long and arduous process of trial and, most importantly, for deliberating over two days to make a decision in this case and not rush to judgment,” he said.

Piolo’s mother, Jerelyn Piolo, said she and the rest of her family had hoped Torre would be convicted of murder but that she has resigned herself to the outcome.

“I’m just leaving it to God,” she said. “Karma will do the rest.”

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