Login

Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

ELLIOT SIAUMAU JR

Elliot Siaumau Jr’s lawyer Sharron Rancourt filed a motion to clarify a condition of work release for her client. The hearing was presided over by Chief Justice Michael Kruse.

Rancourt told the court, the hearing for work release granted for her client had him working at the Pisisami Trucking. Part of his job is that he drives the trucks however, Warden Maifea says the defendant can be on work release but he cannot operate a vehicle or a truck.

Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag said the government does not object to the motion.

Chief Justice Michael Kruse recalled a similar case, which he believes was between then Commissioner Moali’itele Tu’ufuli and Agasiva, but did not elaborate.

Kruse told Rancourt, the court is not involved with rules made by the prison warden and the court does not run prisons.

He clarified the court's position, “We can grant work releases but we do not overrule prison rules and indeed if the Warden doesn’t think that a particular person is eligible to extend custody into the community the court is not going to overrule”.

“The real issue here with the Warden, is rules”, Kruse told the defendant.

Maifea told Samoa News, when an inmate is granted work release the jail is extended to where that inmate is working.

 “The prisoner is still under my custody until he has served his time. If the inmate who is on work release drives and injures someone who is responsible? Not the inmate, I will be held responsible for what happened”, said the Warden.

He added that these are some of the internal policies that the Territorial Correctional Facility has had in place for a very long time.

The defendant is serving a 20 month jail term and fined $5,000 for aiding and abetting the possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. The jail time is a condition of his five years probation. Court filings state that a police search of the defendant’s home in 2009 uncovered meth, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, firearms and ammunition.

JAMES BARLOW

District Court Judge John Ward has ordered that bail for James Barlow remain at $100,000. Barlow a former ASCC English instructor accused of giving alcohol to minors and who allegedly had sex with the three boys, made his initial appearance in District Court yesterday. The defendant is facing multiple sex charges ranging from sodomy, deviate sexual assault, sexual abuse, furnishing pornographic materials to minors aiding a child to possess and consume alcohol, endangering the welfare of a child and traffic violations. (Read story in yesterday’s issue).

On the issue of bail, Barlow’s lawyer Mark Ude asked the court to reduce bail. Ude told the court the defendant is not a flight risk, he’s a US citizen and does not have $100,000 or any assets which is equivalent to $100,000. Prosecutor, Blake Hanley, opposed lowering Barlow’s bail.

“The circumstances of this case suggest that the Defendant is a sexual predator of young boys; a predator who manipulates young boys into engaging into sexual acts with him by the use of alcohol, money, and pornography”, said Hanley.

The prosecutor added that additionally, this individual poses a flight risk - with these very serious charges he is facing the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison. “Barlow does not have significant ties to the Territory – he no longer works at the college, he no longer resides at the home in which the alleged incidents occurred, and he has no family in the Territory”, said Hanley.

KILISITINA SEIGAFO

A woman accused of stealing a business man’s ATM card, has entered into a plea agreement with the government. Kilisitina Seigafo was initially charged with felony stealing however she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor stealing. The plea deal was accepted by Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond with sentencing scheduled on April 9, 2012. The defendant, who’s been in jail for six months, admitted before the court, that she took said businessman’s wallet and used his ATM card to withdraw $260, without his consent.  

In an earlier deal with the government, Seigafo was released from jail if she was to make restitution to the business man, for the money she took and the Attorney General’s office will not go forward with prosecution. However, the defendant failed to make restitution and she did not appear when her case was called before the High Court, so an arrest warrant was issued for her arrest.

It’s alleged the pair had a few drinks and then Seigafo took off with the man's wallet, used the man's ATM card and withdrew $260.  She was caught on camera making the transaction. Seigafo is represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Cecilia Reyna.

MATAFUA MATAIPULE

The government’s case against a former Pago Plaza security guard for allegedly selling illegal drugs has been continued. Matafua Mataipule is facing charges of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance (marijuana) and unlawful possession of a controlled substance of (marijuana) with intent to distribute.

The continuance came at the request of Assistant Attorney General Mike White. He told the court that additional time is needed, as they are still negotiating this matter.

Chief Justice Michael Kruse granted the request and rescheduled the matter for March 30, 2012. According to court filings, the vice and narcotics officers received a tip from a Confidential Informant (CI), the defendant gave him a marijuana joint as a sample. It’s alleged on the same day police met with the CI and retrieved the marijuana joint.

Court documents say the following day the CI met with police and was briefed about making a controlled buy. The CI was given $10.00 and bought two marijuana joints from the defendant. According to court filings police secured a search warrant for the defendant and the CI was contacted for another controlled buy of four marijuana joints. Police then executed the search warrant on the defendant and found five hand-rolled marijuana joints inside the pocket of his shirt. Police also found 10 marijuana joints inside the defendant's pouch. It is alleged police confiscated 19 marijuana joints that were tested positive for marijuana.



THE NEW COMMENTS PROCESS

To make comments, you will need to register. You can register under your real name or use a 'screen' name. This way, people will be able to follow comments and make comments back and forth to each other. If you choose to use a 'screen name' no one will know your true identity. In either case, no email addresses will be available to anyone. It is an automated process. If you have questions, email: webmaster@samoanews.com

You currently are not logged in, please LOGIN to post comments.