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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

FA’AFETAI KASIANO ENTERS GUILTY PLEA

A man who was accused of attempting to break in to a store in Kokoland, has entered into a plea agreement with the government. The government initially charged Fa’afetai Kasiano with attempted burglary in the first degree, property damage in the second degree and public peace disturbance, however in a plea deal with the government, the defendant pleaded guilty to property damage and public peace disturbance, while the more serious charge of attempted burglary, was dismissed.

Chief Justice Michael Kruse accepted the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing for next week Monday. According to the government’s case, the police received a call about the defendant who was allegedly pulling and pushing the main door to a store.

Witnesses told police that Kasiano looked through the window and was pulling and pushing the door,.  It's alleged that Kasiano struck and shattered a glass door with a baseball bat. The witnesses told the defendant that they were contacting police and the defendant fled the area. According to the government, the cost of the door is $128.00.

REV. EMAU AMOSA BENCH TRIAL CONTINUED

The Bench Trial scheduled yesterday for former LBJ hospital employee and Congregational Christian Church of Jesus in Samoa Reverend, Emau Amosa, has been continued.

According to Assistant Attorney General Julie Pasquale, the matter has been moved back to a pre-trial conference status due to a request by defense counsel, Fiti Sunia and granted by District Court judge John Ward.

Rev Amosa is accused of allegedly threatening the LBJ Chief Financial Officer Viola Babcock. He is charged with public peace disturbance and which he has pled not guilty to. According to the government’s case, the incident stemmed from a meeting that took place at the LBJ hospital, on February 17, 2012.

Babcock told police she was having a meeting with Rev. Amosa concerning his work performance at the hospital, when the defendant allegedly told Babcock that he would send “his family to kill her”, according to court affidavits.

It’s noted that Babcock contacted the hospital’s legal counsel at the time, Kevin Kornegay, for assistance. “The defendant said that he is a very important high chief of his family and families of high chiefs protect their own by killing people that harass their chiefs,” the court filing states.

According to the government’s case the defendant admitted to police on tape that he made threatening remarks and he had not apologized to the victim.

It’s alleged immediately after the incident, the victim contacted her supervisors at the hospital regarding the matter. Babcock also contacted Security at the hospital and changed the security code to the door of her office.

She also changed the set-up security plan at her residence. According to the government’s case the matter was reported to police seven days after the alleged incident occurred.

NEW CASE FILED AGAINST TITIO ASOFA JR

The government has filed a new case against Asofa Titio Jr in connection with another burglary case. In the meantime Titio Jr who remains in the Tafuna Correctional Facility (TC) on a $20,000 bail, is charged with two counts of first degree burglary, two counts of stealing, property damage in the second degree and property damage in the third degree,  in connection with two burglaries at the Sepp’s Wholesale store, back in February.

Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe confirmed with Samoa News, that the new case against the defendant is another burglary case. Philippe declined to discuss details of the new case until the matter is before the court.

The first case against the defendant, accuses him of his alleged involvement in two burglaries at Sepp’s Wholesale store back in February, where $4,000 cash and other items were alleged to have been removed from the office. According to the government’s case, on January 30, 2012 Sepp’s Wholesale office was broken into and then again, two weeks later.

Court filings say that Titio Jr. admitted to the police that on the first night they broke into the warehouse with an accomplice, they ransacked the office and found cash close to $2,000.  But according to court filings, the cash removed from the warehouse was approximately $4,000.

The government also claim that two weeks later, the defendant, along with two other juveniles, planned to rob the warehouse again.

Court filings state that the defendant told the two juveniles, that it was easy to break into the warehouse because he had broken into it before. It's alleged that one of the juveniles broke the door open and ransacked the main office.

Titio Jr. told police that 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.



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