By Jacob Nakamura
A Umatac couple appeared before a Superior Court judge this afternoon for their initial appearance after being charged with murder in connection with the death of former Umatac mayor Daniel Sanchez.
Judge Jonathan Quan set bail at $100,000 for Joyner Sked, and $50,000 for Rudy Quinata and appointed public defenders to represent them. The judge remanded them to the custody of the Department of Corrections.
"The court finds probable cause for the charges against you," Mr. Quan told Ms. Sked. He asked the Office of the Attorney General for their request regarding bond.
"The people are requesting a cash bond of $100,000," prosecutor Jeremiah Luther said. "The violence in this case is outstanding. The police describe a scene in which the victim was on the ground lying on his face. He was stabbed and hit in the head well over 10 times. She has multiple violence cases that remain open. This is a grotesque crime. We are requesting the high bail because it is important to protect the community. We believe the strength of this case to be strong."
Ms. Sked tried to interrupt the proceedings, at which point Mr. Quan scolded her about her rights and affording others due respect courtesy before the court.
The judge granted the cash bond request by the OAG, and set her next hearing for April 15 at 4 p.m.
"The court finds probable cause to the charges against you," the judge said as he addressed Rudy Quinata. He appointed the Alternate Public Defender's Office to represent him.
"The people are requesting $100,000 the same bail amount requested for his co-actor," Mr. Luther told the court. "The basis is the violence committed by the defendant. The defendant and Ms. Sked were both seen exiting the residence on April 1 without the victim. We anticipate the forensic evidence will link the defendant to the crimes. It is not as distinctly strong as the case against Ms. Sked."
The probation office read off a long rap sheet of violent crimes committed by Mr. Quinata, to include a manslaughter conviction for which he was paroled by the administration of former Gov. Eddie Calvo.
The Office of the Alternate Public Defender tried to have Quinata released on his personal recognizance. The judge denied the defense's request and issued bail at $50,000. He set his next hearing for April 15 at 4 p.m.
According to the magistrate’s complaint filed today, Quinata was charged with the murder and aggravated assault of Mr. Sanchez. Sked was charged with the same crimes against Mr. Sanchez, but special allegations of use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony were added. The weapon identified in the report is a pair of scissors. His body was found Saturday night inside the couple’s Umatac home by police, who responded to a welfare check on a car parked outside the home, where the couple lived. Police followed a strong decay odor to a window, where they observed Sanchez's body lying in a pool of blood face down.
The magistrate’s complaint filed today indicates that once inside the room, officers observed "severe blunt force trauma injuries to the head of the deceased and apparent stab wounds to the front and back of the deceased's torso. A hammer and scissors, both covered in blood, were found near the body."
Police located, detained and questioned Quinata. He told police, "Joyner did it," several times. According to a witness, who gave Sked a ride on April 3, Sked bragged about "stabbing, shooting, and killing a person. This witness further told police that Joyner told the witness that she [Joyner] stabbed Sanchez and that she did so during or after Quinata kept beating on him."