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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

LAGOVAI ISAMAELI

A 24-year old man who was found in a girl’s bedroom made his initial appearance before the District Court yesterday. Lagovai Isamaeli is accused of being intoxicated and unlawfully entering a home in Fagaitua. According to police, the defendant, who’s from Auto, was overly intoxicated when he walked to Fagaitua and went into a girl’s bedroom, and the mother found out and contacted police.

The owners of the home told police that they have no knowledge as to who the defendant is. Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe told Samoa News the defendant is facing private peace disturbance charges, however the government is looking into filing additional charges against the defendant.

VAISAGOTE OGE, ALFRED KALAPU & TAFUA MATAESE aka FA’ATA’A

The District Court has sentenced two of the three men accused in the beating of a man in Lauli’i last month. Alfred Kalapu and Tafua Mataese pleaded guilty to third degree assault while Vaisagote Oge is still denying the charge against him.

District Court Judge John Ward placed Kalapu and Mataese on 24 months probation, and ordered each man to pay restitution of $50 for the victim’s medical bill. The pair was also ordered to pay a fine of $150 each, and undergo alcohol and counseling courses. Ward told the defendant not to contact the victim in this matter.

Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe said Oge claims that he did not assault the victim, that he tried to stop the fight.

Philippe said Oge’s next hearing is next week Friday, and there are still negotiations going on with this matter. According to affidavits, the incident occurred after women in the village fought and men related to the women interfered. According to police, the defendants assaulted the male, which left him with head injuries.

MATTHEW YANDALL 

The government has yet to reach an agreement with Matthew Yandall facing second degree assault. Yandall who pled not guilty to the felony assault, is accused of assaulting his girlfriend while intoxicated, after Christmas last year. Public Defender Ruth Risch-Fuatagavi asked the court for a continuance, stating that negotiations are still ongoing and the defense lawyer for this matter is still off-island.

Associate Justice Richmond granted the request and rescheduled the matter to February 22, 2012.

According to the government’s case Yandall had a verbal argument with his girlfriend two weeks prior to the assault. It’s alleged the girlfriend was admitted to the hospital due to the severity of her injuries.



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