Thu. Feb 27th, 2020

Trial halts as Hillbroom pleads guilty

File Photo

In the middle of jury selection yesterday, DHL heir Larry Imeong Hillbroom decided to plead guilty in connection with his drug trafficking arrest in 2016, according to the Attorney General Ernestine Rengiil.

At least 200 jury summons were sent last week to appear in court for jury selection. At least 175 out of summoned potential jurors appeared in the court yesterday for the highly publicized trial of Hillbroom.

From the pool of 175, the court is hoping to select six jurors to serve in the trial.

However, by the afternoon, one of Hillbroom’s defense lawyer confirmed that the suspect pleaded guilty to charges halting any trial in connection with the case.

The details of the plea agreement have not been revealed as of press time.

Hillbroom, if found guilty, will face a sentence of 25-50 years in jail.

Hillbroom is also separately charged in 2017 for alleged methamphetamine trafficking and possession.

Hillbroom is a son of DHL founder Larry Hillblom although their surnames are spelled differently.

According to court documents, Hillbroom was arrested in 2016 after the seizure of 160 grams of methamphetamine. At the time he appeared in court, he pleaded not guilty to a trafficking charge.

Hillbroom’s arrest stemmed from the statements of two women who were arrested with the drugs following a flight from Manila to Palau claimed that the suspect “offered to pay them when they arrived in Palau”.

The documents allege Hillbroom paid for the women’s airline tickets and they recorded a phone call to him in which he acknowledged his role in the plan.

In October 2017, Hillbroom was again arrested by drug enforcement operatives, this time in Peleliu by drug enforcement operatives. (Bernadet Carreon)