In the Superior Court of Guam, opening statements were made by both parties in murder defendant Joshua Palacios trial. Palacios is on trial for his alleged role in the July 2019 homicide of Keith Castro.

It was the evening of July 28th 2019 when the 33-year-old Castro was beaten, attacked, chased around a Yigo residence and then fatally shot. Autopsy results determined the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the torso. Palacios, 37, is accused of pulling that trigger. He appeared with defense counsel Tom Fisher for the first day of his trial before Judge Vern Perez.

Assistant Attorney General Michelle Canto argues the defendant's guilty of the offense. In Canto's opening statement she tells the jury there are numerous people involved in the case. Canto states, Keith Castro was at his friend Matthew Sablan's home when the other suspect in the case, Thomas Taitano (aka, "Mossy") arrives.

"Thomas started to fight with Keith Castro - starts attacking Keith. But then arrives a girl named J'lene Cabe, who gets out of the car and starts kicking and punching Keith Castro. And you will hear witnesses tell you that they saw the defendant chase Keith Castro around the house as he was trying to get away," Canto detailed.

Ht further stated that Castro falls to the ground, and Palacios continues to attack the victim. He then allegedly pulls out a gun and shoots Castro.

As we reported, Taitano was at large for a period time after the incident. He eventually turned himself in and this lead to the arrest of Palacios and J'Lene Cruz Cabe. Further Canto presents this framework in the opening.

"Thomas turns himself in and admits he was there that night and yes he did attack Keith Castro. And with this information the police were able to find Palacios. They find him at a house in Barrigada," he said.

According to Canto it's at this house, where officer find Palacios lying on a bed with J'Lene Cabe and located the murder weapon underneath the mattress.

Taitano has since plead guilty to aggravated assault charges for his role in the homicide, he entered a cooperation agreement with the government

On the defense, Attorney Fisher mentions others connected to Taitano in the case who he alleges are responsible for the death of Castro. He said, "Josh Taitano and Mossy Taitano are brothers, and they both were very angry at Keith Castro. You are going to hear about the individual by the name of Johnny Rosario. Johnny and Josh Taitano are boyfriend and girlfriend.

"Now, Josh hates keith Castro because he played the video of Johnny Rosario seen with crystal methamphetamine and this is his girlfriend. And he did not appreciate that when Keith Castro had one ahead...he even called her a 'panty down chemist'."

Fisher painted the picture that the Taitanos, along with Kandit News group's Johnny Rosario and Troy Torres, plotted a scheme to frame Palacios for the crime, allegedly they wanted to obtain a cell phone by way of a search warrant that was inside Castro's truck.

"Johnny and Troy have a blog they call The Kandit News. Troy and Johnny?s actions directly lead to Keith?s death that?s what the evidence is going to show. And it?s more than that. The evidence is going to show that Keith was driving a tundra truck which there was a search warrant to find his phone. And the evidence is also going to show that the phone was lacking a SIM card," said the attorney.

"Johnny and Troy and others wanted that SIM card, because they believe that Keith was in possession of that SIM card had evidence of drug use, drug manufacture, sexual abuse of a minor being raped. The evidence that they believe was on that cell phone was explicit."

The first witness called to the stand by the government was a Guam Police Department officer who responded to the scene.

Asked what he saw when he you arrived at the scene, the officer said, "There was a male adult on the ground, a female screaming and two other males were pacing. But my eye and attention was on the male on the ground who was injured."

Castro was a son, a brother, a husband and a father to three children.

Thomas Taitano cracked a smile inside the courtroom after he admitted that he attacked Keith Castro with a baton at a Yigo residence in July 2019.

The incident led to Castro?s death after he was allegedly shot and killed by co-defendant Joshua Palacios.

Taitano pleaded guilty to aggravated assault as a third-degree felony and criminal mischief to a motor vehicle as a third-degree felony before Superior Court of Guam Judge Vernon Perez on Monday.

Taitano signed a cooperation agreement with the prosecution and could testify against Palacios during his trial scheduled for later this month.

Taitano said no one forced him to sign the plea deal.

The plea agreement calls for five years in prison with all but 18 months suspended and credit for time served.

On July 28, 2019, Castro was struck multiple times by Taitano with a baton as the pair fought at a Yigo residence.

Palacios then allegedly fatally shot Castro, according to court documents.

He told investigators he had been using meth in the days leading up to the shooting and said the drug can cause him to black out.

Palacios is facing charges of murder as a first-degree felony, with a special allegation of possession or use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony.

Police learned the day after the shooting that Taitano allegedly tried to run over three people with his car in Dededo, documents state.

He admitted to damaging one of the victims' vehicles after he rammed his car into it.