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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

ISALA POLI

Isala Poli was arrested in an assault case in 2008 where he was placed on a five year probation, however, six months after his release, he was again arrested on a sexual assault charge, to which he was sentenced to jail for five years.

After serving almost six years in jail, Poli requested an early release from the Parole Board.  The parole board found out that there was no indication, that a hearing was held, regarding Poli violating the condition of his probation from his 2008 assault case.

Yesterday Poli appeared before the High Court for a probation revocation hearing for the 2008 case.

Before Chief Justice Michael Kruse handed down his ruling yesterday, the defendant told the court that he spent almost six years in jail and he has learned a huge lesson as a result. The defendant, yesterday, pleaded for a second chance to reunite with his wife and children.

Kruse modified the conditions of the defendant’s probation from the assault case, by ordering Poli to depart the territory and remain outside for a period of five years, equivalent to his five years probation.

Kruse also noted that, if the parole board releases the defendant on parole, the new probation condition he just ordered, should be carried out.

Kruse noted the defendant a citizen of Samoa, has been in the territory for 11 years and six of those years he spent in jail. “The government and the people of American Samoa have been feeding him for the past six years”, said Kruse.

In the 2008 assault case, Poli was convicted of an incident which left a man paralyzed. Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag told the court, the defendant was not penalized for violating his probation for the first assault incident, somehow this matter fell through the cracks.

The 2008 assault incident occurred at the defendant’s workplace, where he punched the victim who fell and landed on his head which left him paralyzed. In this case Poli was placed on probation. Six months after the defendant was released from jail, he broke into a girl’s bedroom which led to his second conviction, where he was sentenced to five years.

AARON WISDOM

The government’s case against Aaron Wisdom, the owner of a container, which Customs’ agents allegedly discovered marijuana substance, drugs paraphernalia, guns and live ammunitions last month, has been bound over to the High Court.

Wisdom will enter a plea on the charges of unlawful possession of a controlled substance of marijuana, possession of an unlicensed firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.

Wisdom waived his rights to a preliminary examination against him in the District Court. The defendant who is out on a surety bond of $20,000 recently, moved to the territory from San Diego, California.

ELLIOT SIAUMAU SR

The High Court has ordered that Elliot Siaumau Sr not operate a vehicle, after he entered into a plea agreement with the government.

In this case, Siaumau was initially charged with resisting arrest, a felony and driving under the influence, which is a misdemeanor. However in the plea deal with the government, Siaumau pleaded guilty to DUI and eluding police which was amended from the resisting arrest charge.

Chief Justice Michael Kruse accepted the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing for the defendant on March 16, 2012. Kruse also ordered a probation report for this matter.

The charges stems from an incident which occurred on New Year’s Eve 2010 where police were chasing the defendant who was driving under the influence of alcohol. Siaumau was represented by Assistant Public Defender Michael White while prosecuting for the government is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau.

MICHAEL LEATIGAGA & JOE LEOTA

The two men accused of removing more than 200 cases of wahoo from the Star Kist warehouse, will be arraigned in the High Court. Joe Leota is charged with burglary and stealing, while his co-defendant Michael Leatigaga is facing stealing and receiving stolen property charges.

According to the government’s case, Leatigaga entered the warehouse through the door and removed more than 200 Wahoo cases with the value in thousands of dollars. Leota’s vehicle was used to transport the Wahoo away from the warehouse.

It’s alleged the pair sold the cases of Wahoo to a couple of local stores. The government’s case states that approximately close to a hundred cases of Wahoo were recovered. Leota is held on bail of $15,000 while Leatigaga’s bail is set at $10,000. The two men are represented by Assistant Public Defender Donna Clement.



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