Court Report


Faletoi Fetuaso Sevi from Lauli’i, Samoa, a passenger on the Lady Naomi who allegedly hand carried marijuana into the territory and faced two counts — unlawful possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, with intent to distribute and unlawful possession of marijuana — a case that is pending in the High Court, has yet another criminal case filed against him, on allegations that police uncovered marijuana in his possession while incarcerated.
Samoa News understands that last week Sevi signed the plea agreement that has him pleading guilty to unlawful possession of the controlled substance of marijuana, while the remaining charge is dismissed at the request of the government.
The new drug case against him, came to light when the Tafuna Correctional Facility officers conducted a surprise raid last month, and found a bag of chips from Samoa containing, marijuana — the equivalent to 20 marijuana joints and another medicinal container containing six marijuana joints.
In this new drug case, the government charges him with the same drug charges mentioned above in the pending case.
The first case, against the defendant alleges that police uncovered 230 hand rolled marijuana joints and several bundles of dried marijuana leaves during a Customs search when he arrived on the Lady Naomi. Court filings say police conducted testing and found the leafy substance to be marijuana.
A man in his 40s facing sexual related charges on allegations that he took a girl into a bathroom against her will has entered a guilty plea before the High Court this week. Misi Faiaga of Tafuna, was facing charges of first-degree sexual abuse, false imprisonment and child endangerment, however in a plea deal offered by the government, the defendant pleaded guilty to first degree sexual abuse.
Upon his plea of guilt, the government moved for the court to dismiss the remaining charges in the matter. Faiaga is represented by Assistant Public Defender, Mike White while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Tiffany Oldsfield.  
The victim told police that while walking home the defendant called out to her and they spoke briefly. It’s alleged the defendant then grabbed the girl, took her into a bathroom and allegedly forced a kiss on her and touched her inappropriately.
Court filings say that as soon as the defendant pulled down his pants, she took off running.
The defendant upon his guilty plea admitted to his actions and Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing for this case in April. 
Faamoe Sioka, who’s convicted in connection with receiving stolen property and underage drinking following a burglary of an aiga bus on New Year’s Eve, was fined by the High Court.
During sentencing Sioka asked the court to forgive his transgressions and asked for a second chance to straighten his life out for a better and productive future. The parties in this case recommended the court place Sioka on probation and sentence him to time served.
During the plea hearing the defendant pled guilty to receiving stolen property, which was amended from the felony count of receiving stolen property.
According to the government’s case, on New Year’s Eve 2013, it was reported to police that an aiga bus had been burglarized and police responded to the call in Mapusaga Fou.
The owner of the bus told police he was informed that two men had broken into his bus and removed items. Sioka and his codefendant Falani Lasalo are both under the age of 21. Court filings say Lasalo and Sioka both admitted they had been consuming alcohol when the incident occurred. Lasalo’s case is pending in the High Court
During sentencing in this case, Sioka was sentenced to 16 months in jail, but the court suspended the sentence and placed the defendant on two years probation under certain conditions. Among the conditions he must pay his $500 fine within six months and must not consume alcohol.
He was also ordered to undergo 40 hours community service under the guidance of the probation office and must remain a law-abiding citizen.
A man who was scheduled to be sentenced yesterday following the rendering of his plea of guilty, has told the probation officer during a conversation for the pre-sentence report that he did not commit the crimes he admitted to doing.
Samuelu Sae is one of the two men who allegedly broke into a Pavaia’i store in June 2012 and removed $475 cash and he had entered into a plea agreement with the government. Sae was charged with first-degree burglary and stealing, however he pled guilty to the amended charge of attempted stealing, a lesser charge. Upon his plea of guilty, the government moved to dismiss the burglary count.
Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement in this matter.
The defendant originally admitted that during the evening hours of June 3, 2012 he along with his co-defendant John Ioane broke into the Samumalu Sales Store by breaking the front door. The defendant, Sae took $475 in cash.
During the plea hearing, Richmond noted the defendant must agree to pay restitution to the victim for the cash taken and testify in trial against a third co-defendant Gabriel Tinai, who was the watchman in this case.
According to the plea agreement, Sae said he understands and accepts that in the event the court imposes a different sentence than that recommended by counsel, he will not be allowed to withdraw his plea of guilty.
However, when the defendant was called before the court for sentencing, Richmond pointed out that he was informed the defendant stated that he did not commit the crime. The Associate Justice further noted this matter will be postponed while Sae’s attorney and the probation office meet to discuss issues uncovered recently, but if he wishes to change his guilty plea, the court may allow a jury trial in this matter.


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