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WOMAN ORDERED TO PAY FINE/ RESTITUTION OR BE JAILED

A woman who pleaded guilty to passing bad checks was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 and $345 restitution, and if she pays the fine and restitution immediately to the court, she will not be jailed for six months as a condition of her probation.

Sentencing for Linnea Samatua was handed down by Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond and Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr.

Samatua was initially charged with stealing and passing bad checks, however in a plea agreement with the government the defendant pled guilty to passing bad checks while the stealing count was dismissed.

Passing bad checks is a class D felony punishable by up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

During sentencing the defendant in tears expressed remorse and apologized to the Airport Way Gas Station and Haleck’s Service Center, the government and the court. She noted that payments have been made and more payments still need to be made, and she’ll continue to make those payments.

Assistant Public Defender Mike White, representing the defendant, noted Samatua is remorseful of her actions. White said he is 100% certain the defendant will not appear before the court again for any crime. He asked the court to place the defendant on probation.

Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond sentenced the defendant to three years probation, however execution of sentencing is suspended and the defendant is placed on probation for three years under certain conditions.

The defendant must pay restitution of $345 to the court registry and pay a $1,000 fine. Samatua was sentence to jail for six months however if she’s to pay the fine and restitution in full, she will be released from jail.

Richmond noted that no matter what, this is a serious offense. According to the government’s case, a complaint was filed against Samatua regarding several bad checks that were made out to the Airport Way Gas Station and Haleck's Service Center.

It’s alleged Samatua wrote seven checks totaling $570 between March 16 and March 25, 2012.  The checks were returned with a ‘Closed Account' notice. Each returned check was then charged a fee of $25 by the payee.

Two demand letters were sent to the defendant on April 3, and July 3, 2012. The government claims Samatua has repaid $400 but a balance of $345.00 is still owing.

Prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.

COURT LENIENT WITH MEAT THIEF

The High Court has stayed the jail sentence for a former employee of the YSJ Store in Nu’uuli, Joseph Iakopo who pleaded guilty to stealing cases of meat from the store.

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.

The defendant apologized to the court, the government and the YSJ for his actions and assured the court this would be the first and last time he would come before the court.

The incident occurred on Labor Day holiday and Associate Justice Lyle Richmond told the defendant that this is not the way to celebrate Labor day — by stealing from your boss.

The defendant was sentenced to five years in prison however execution of sentence was suspended and the defendant placed on probation of five years under the condition that the defendant serves 20 months in jail.

The court however stayed the jail term upon the condition that the defendant complies with terms of his probation. He was also ordered to pay $1,700 restitution. The Associate Justice further ordered the defendant to attend and complete GED courses at the college.

Richmond noted that the court has given the defendant a “big break” and he should take advantage of it.

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.

LEALOFI LAULU FACES FELONY ASSAULT

The government has charged Lealofi Laulu with second degree assault and public peace disturbance on allegations that he struck another man’s face with a beer bottle.

The defendant made his initial appearance in the District Court earlier this week. The assault count is a class D felony which is punishable with up to five years in prison or a fine of up to $5,000, or both jail term and fine.

According to the government’s case a man walked into the police station reporting that he was struck on the face by the defendant. The victim told police he approached the defendant and his friends to go home because it was close to village curfew time in Leone.

The government claims after the victim told the defendant, he was struck in the face with a beer bottle and then the defendant took off on foot.

The next day police proceeded to the defendant’s house and apprehended him. The defendant told police that the victim struck him first with a plastic pipe and that’s what prompted him to punch the victim in the face.

MIKA A’ASA ENETRS GUILTY PLEA

A man accused of throwing a rock which hit another man is facing second degree assault and public peace disturbance. He entered a guilty plea to second degree assault on Tuesday.

According to the plea agreement that was read in court, the defendant admits that he threw a rock hitting the victim. The government moved to dismiss the remaining count as part of the plea agreement between the government and the defendant.

After the defendant entered his guilty plea Chief Justice Michael Kruse continued the plea hearing to today. The second degree assault charge is a class D felony punishable with up to five years in jail, a fine of $5,000 or both.

According to the government’s case, police received a call regarding a public peace disturbance in Petesa, and when they responded, they found the victim lying on top of a grave in front of his house. The victim’s face was swollen and covered with blood.

Witnesses told police the reason the defendant threw a rock at the victim was because the victim assaulted the defendant’s younger brother.

Prosecuting this matter is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.



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