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ESERA TO ENTER GUILTY PLEA TODAY IN HOMICIDE BY VEHICLE CASE

The bus driver who operated an aiga bus, which allegedly struck and killed an elderly man, in front of CBT, is scheduled to enter into a plea agreement with the government.

Reino Esera, who is facing homicide by vehicle, careless driving, general duty and failure to yield right of way for pedestrians will have his plea hearing today in the High Court before Chief Justice Michael Kruse.

Homicide by vehicle is a class D felony which is punishable with up to five years in jail, a fine of $5,000 or both, while careless driving, general duty and failure to yield charges are class B misdemeanors which are punishable by up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both.

According to the government’s case, witnesses at the scene said the victim was crossing the road using the crosswalk and was struck by an aiga bus that was heading eastbound. Police obtained written statements from three witnesses who saw the incident.

The defendant told police that when he was approaching the Laufou Shopping Center, he fell asleep behind the wheel while the vehicle was still in motion.

ASOFA TITIO JR ARRAIGNED BEFORE CHIEF JUSTICE

Asofa Titio Jr. who is facing two counts of first degree burglary, two counts of stealing, property damage second degree and property damage third degree. denied the charges against him, in connection with his alleged involvement in two burglaries at Sepp’s Wholesale store back in February, where $4,000 cash and other items were alleged to be removed from the office.

Titio, who’s being held on bail of $20,000 is represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White, and will have his pre-trial conference next month.

According to the government’s case, on January 30, 2012 the Sepp’s Wholesale office was broken into and two weeks later, the warehouse was broken into again.

Court filings say that Titio Jr. admitted to police to ransacking the office and he and an accomplice found cash that he claimed was close to $2,000 the first night they broke into Sepp’s Warehouse. Court filings state that according to Steffany, the cash removed was approximately $4,000.

Then, the government claims in February the defendant, along with two other juveniles, planned to rob the place. Court filings state the defendant told the two juveniles that it was easy to break into Sepp’s Warehouse because he had broken into it before. It's alleged one of the juveniles bashed the door open, where they ransacked the main office.

Titio Jr. told police he broke into the small office and took a box of coins while the juveniles took bottles of wine, cartons of cigarettes, candies and stacks of BlueSky and ASTCA phone cards.

INMATE I’UMALO SEIULI ARRAIGNED BEFORE ASSOCIATE JUSTICE

Inmate I’umalo Seiuli has been charged with two counts of escape while on work release, and each count is a class D felony punishable from five to 15 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both fine and jail term. He was arraigned in High Court yesterday morning.

According to the government’s case, the defendant has been serving a jail term since Feb. 13, 2009 for his conviction of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance. Seiuli’s first work release program application was processed and approved on July 14, 2011.

His work release was terminated on Sept. 2, 2011 following the defendant’s random drug test, which came out positive for marijuana, say court filings.

The government claims that the defendant was approved a second time for work release to work for Sili’s Burger and Car Wash where he started on Apr. 23, 2012. This second work release program was terminated a month later, after a criminal investigation involving employees of Sili’s was initiated — they were questioned regarding a box of drugs seized by Custom’s Officers at the Fagatogo US Post office.

According to the government’s case, several sources told police they observed the defendant at his family residence in Nua ma Se’etaga while on work release.

The government claims the conditions of the work release do not allow him to deviate to other places, but only to his work place and back to the jail.  Each time work release was granted, the government says the defendant was told of the rules or conditions of the work release program.

The government says the defendant has denied the allegations.

The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.

PLEA NEGOTIATIONS IN JUBY KOLIO’S CASE  

The government is continuing plea negotiations in the government’s case against a 22-year old man who is accused of forcing an 11-year old boy to perform oral sex.

Juby Kolio, also known as “Junior” is being held in police custody on a “No Bail” status and is charged with child molestation, sodomy with a child, endangering the welfare of a child and third degree assault. Child molestation is a class A felony which is punishable by up to ten years in jail.

The sodomy count is a class B felony which carries a jail term from five to 15 years, while endangering the welfare of a child and third degree assault are both class A misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

According to the government’s case the Child Protective Services with the Department of Human and Social Services contacted police about a possible sexual case involving a minor. Detectives with the Criminal Investigation Division investigated the matter and met with the victim and his father.

Police also questioned the defendant about the incident and Kolio admitted that he forced the victim to perform oral sex on him (Kolio) twice.

The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White, while prosecuting this matter is Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe.



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