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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

TWO MURDER DEFENDANTS ENTER PLEA; THIRD GOES TO TRIAL

Two of the three men charged in the brutal beating death of Sio Faumui also known as Chico in June last year have accepted the plea offer by the government. Nemaia Poamo and Migo Misa are scheduled to have their plea agreement hearings this Friday while Sefo Siaulaiga — aka Raponi Siaulaiga will fight his case in a jury trial.

The three defendants who remain at the Tafuna Correctional Facility are each charged with second degree murder. Poamoa and Misa are represented by the Public Defender’s office and David Vargas represents Siaulaiga, while Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop is prosecuting for the government.

According to the government’s case 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.

All three have admitted to police that they assaulted Faumui, according to court affidavits.

Siaulaiga’s jury trial is set for January 8, next year. This matter was presided over by Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond.

KATERINA SILIGA IN HIGH COURT AGAIN

The government has filed one count of embezzlement against Katerina Siliga who has a criminal case pending against her in the High Court on allegations that she misappropriated money for a life insurance policy of a couple who reside in Savai’i.

In this new case, Siliga was arraigned in the High Court yesterday where she denied the embezzlement count against her.

The embezzlement charge is a class C felonies punishable by imprisonment for up to seven years, a fine of $5,000 or a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime up to a maximum of $20,000, or both fine and imprisonment.

According to the government’s case, on July 3, 2012 two women gave the defendant a total amount of $900 so she could buy K-fares from Hawaiian Airlines for two people.

One woman gave her $650 while the other gave $250. The government alleges there were no K-fares however the defendant used part of the money for her personal use. She returned $700 to reimburse one woman, and gave $50 to the other woman and still owes the amount of $200.

The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White while prosecuting this matter is Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag.

SENTENCING OF JOSEPH IAKOPO CONTINUED

Former employee of the YSJ Store in Nu’uuli, Joseph Iakopo was scheduled to be sentenced yesterday however the High Court was forced to postpone it because the probation report in this matter was not ready.

Iakopo was initially charged with stealing and attempting to receive stolen property, however he pleaded guilty to stealing while the government moved to dismiss the remaining charge.

According to the government’s case, on June 28, 2012, owners of YSJ store in Nu’uuli filed a complaint with the police regarding the defendant who allegedly stole several cases of meat from the store, which he attempted to sell.

Court filings state the defendant told one of the witnesses in the case that he stole from the store because the storeowner is 'b.s.' about their paychecks.

Police interviewed the defendant who admitted he took the cases of meat from the store.

The sentencing for Iakopo is now scheduled to this Friday before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond.



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