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reporters@samoanews.com

ANOTHER DOG BITE CASE IN HIGH COURT  

A man had been accused of being in possession of a vicious animal, namely a dog that attacked a young man unprovoked. Ama Posima of Afono, the owner of the dog, is charged with possession of a live vicious animal, a class D felony punishable by five years imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, or both fine and imprisonment. 

According to the government’s case, on June 22, 2012 a woman filed a request to help regarding a vicious animal, a dog, and reported that her son was attacked by the defendant’s dog. Court filings state the victim was walking to his Uncle’s house with a friend to get an X-Box.

The victim told police he did not know the dog was coming toward him and the dog jumped on him, biting his hand. The victim sought medical treatment and received three stitches on his lower right arm from the dog bite.

On July 6, 2012 police visited the defendant’s residence in Afono along with two employees from the Department of Agriculture and the victim directed police to the home where the dog was.

Police said they proceeded to the home of the dog’s owner however the defendant was not at home at the time, but his wife was. Police spoke with defendant’s wife and explained what had happened.

Court filings allege the police informed the defendant’s wife that the Department of Agriculture employees had to take the dog, as it was not safe to keep the dog around the area because it has bitten someone unprovoked. 

The defendant’s wife agreed and the dog was taken by the Department of Agriculture workers. The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White while prosecuting this matter is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.

ASG MOVES TO CONSOLIDATE MALAE CASE OF WITNESS TAMPERING

Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop, who’s the prosecutor in the government’s case against Miracle and Tau Malae, has filed a motion to consolidate the first case against Tau Malae in the second case, naming the couple as defendants.

The government’s first case against Tau Malae accuses him of performing sexual acts with his wife’s two nieces last year where he’s facing charges of sodomy, two charges of first degree sexual abuse, two counts of deviate sexual assault and rape.

In the new case against Mr. and Mrs. Malae, court filings say Mrs. Malae paid for two one-way tickets for the victims. Court affidavits state that despite the fact that the government had in their possession the travel documents of the victims, new travel documents were applied for and obtained for the victims.

The second case charges the defendants with tampering with witnesses and concealing the offense. The charges stem from allegations that Tau Malae and his wife Miracle Malae removed two girls from the territory who are alleged to be the victims in a sex case that is pending against Tau Malae in High Court.

SENTENCING FOR WAYNE MOTU POSTPONED

Sentencing for Wayne Motu was scheduled to be underway yesterday however due to a request from Assistant Public Defender Mike White for a continuance the new sentencing date is now set for next month.

The Assistant PD requested a continuance noting that additional information is needed before sentencing is handed down for this case. Associate Justice Lyle Richmond, who was accompanied on the bench by Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr., accepted the request.

Motu was initially charged with resisting or interfering with an arrest, reckless driving and fraudulent use of vehicle plates.

However, the defendant pleaded guilty to resisting arrest while the government moved to dismiss the remaining charges. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond, accompanied by Associate Judges Mamea Sala Jr and Muasau Tasina Tofili accepted the plea agreement between the government and the defendant.

The resisting arrest count is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

According to the plea agreement which was read in open court, by Motu’s plea of guilty, he admits that on August 21, 2012 he knowingly resisted the lawful stop and arrest of himself when he sped up to roughly 60 miles per hour to evade officers — who were trying to effectuate a stop of his vehicle for speeding 39 mph in a 25 mph zone.

This forced officers to follow him for several minutes through several villages and down narrow roads while Defendant passed other vehicles and nearly hit pedestrians who had to jump out of the way on the side of the road, creating a substantial risk of serious physical injury or death to other persons.

According to the plea agreement the defendant knew officers were attempting to effectuate a traffic stop because they had their emergency lights on, and were following him at a high speed for some time until defendant’s vehicle came to a halt when it hit a banana tree.

According to the government’s case, when Motu’s vehicle collided with a banana tree the defendant took off on foot and the officers were unable to apprehend the defendant.

The defendant turned himself in to the police station later that evening and explained to police he fled because he was scared.

Motu also told police the license plate that was on the vehicle he was driving belonged to another vehicle, given that the registration to the vehicle he was operating had expired.



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