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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

VILI ONEY

The Vice and Narcotics squad's latest drug raid at a Fagaima home earlier this week, resulted with Vili Oney facing a single count of unlawful possession of the controlled substance of marijuana, a felony that is punishable from five to ten years in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Oney, who is represented by the Public Defender’s office, appeared before the District Court Thursday morning. Oney is held in custody on a $20,000 bail.

According to the court affidavit, the Vice and Narcotics executed a search warrant at the defendant’s home, and while police were there, a neighbor informed them Oney had been arrested for driving under the influence. In carrying out the search, police had Canine Marco search the home first. Court documents say, the Canine barked numerous times inside the defendant’s bedroom.  Police searched the defendant’s bedroom and found what appeared to be loose marijuana and marijuana residue was also found in an empty shoe box.

Police also confiscated numerous “rolling papers” commonly used to roll marijuana joints, a large amount of cash stored inside a white sock, and a grinder with marijuana residue that appeared to have been used to grind marijuana substance, says the affidavit. The marijuana substance found in the defendant’s room was tested using the Dusquenoise-Levine Test and came out positive for marijuana.

The court filing says when police questioned the defendant he immediately admitted the marijuana found in his room belonged to him. The defendant was warned of his constitutional rights and Oney told police that he understood his rights, does not need a lawyer and again told police that he owned the marijuana found, adding the money found in the sock was from selling marijuana joints, says the affidavit.

Oney is scheduled to appear again before the District Court next week Thursday for his preliminary examination. This hearing is to determine whether the government has sufficient evidence to have the case go forward to the High Court. Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag is prosecuting this matter.

BRIAN THOMPSON

A man accused of touching his wife’s niece inappropriately, following a party held at his home last year, has been placed on probation for two years. Brian Thompson who was initially charged with first degree sexual abuse pled guilty to the amended charge of third degree assault, a lesser charge which carries a jail-term of up to 15 days and/or a fine of up to $300. Thompson, in his 30s, entered his guilty plea last December.

Presiding over the sentencing were Associate Justice Lyle Richmond and Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr.

The defendant’s lawyer, Fiti Sunia, stated in court that he agrees with the pre-sentence report, that Thompson is a suitable candidate for a probated sentence. He noted that Thompson has contributed to the community, an ASG employee, he’s educated and a family man. Sunia added that his client is remorseful of his actions.

Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop-Folau told the Judges that she respects the Probation Officer’s work; however she felt the pre-sentence report presented before the court is one-sided. Jessop-Folau called to the stand the victim’s mother, to give testimony on the effect this has caused her family and her daughter, the victim.

The victim’s mother asked the court to sentence Thompson to the extent of the law for what he did to her. “Brian is a menace to our society especially when it comes to women,” said the mother. Richmond placed Thompson on probation of two years, he’s ordered to pay a fine of $300, within ten days. The defendant is not allowed to consume or possess alcohol, and he’s also subject to random testing by the Probation office or any police officer, he was also ordered to contact the victim or her immediate family.

CASE FOR SUSPECTED MURDERERS POSTPONED 

The government case against the three men charged in the brutal beating of Sio Faumui also known as Chico, in June of last year, is scheduled to be heard at the end of this month. Nemaia Poamo, Migo Misa and Sefo Siaulaiga aka Raponi Siaulaiga, are each charged with murder in the second degree.

The government alleges that Siaulaiga, Misa and Poamo assaulted Faumui of Iliili with their hands and left him lying unconscious, about 15 feet from the main road, in Malaeimi. It’s alleged that Poamo and Siaulaiga further beat the victim with rocks and Misa used a beer bottle to strike Faumui’s face.

According to the government’s case, Poamo and Migo punched and kicked Faumui at least 15 to 20 times. Faumui suffered multiple facial injuries. All three have admitted to police that they assaulted  Faumui, according to court affidavits.



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