Court Report



A man who broke into a Vaitogi home and assaulted the home owner, was released from jail yesterday. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond handed down sentencing for twenty year old Taligalu Ah Siu from Vaitogi who initially faced charges of first degree burglary, second degree assault, underage consumption of alcohol and private peace disturbance. However he entered a guilty plea to second degree burglary, while the remaining charges were dismissed.

The defendant apologized to the court for his actions and pleaded for a chance to return home to care for his parents and to complete his education. The defendant noted that what he did was wrong and he’s very sorry for what he did to the victim.

He acknowledged he has a drinking problem and he’s willing to undergo alcohol counseling to help with his problem. The defendant’s lawyer Public Defender Ruth Risch Fuatagavi pleaded with the court to place the defendant on probation. She said the defendant, upon receiving news about his friend who had passed away, turned to alcohol for grief. She added that the defendant was an ASCC student at the time of the incident, this was after he successfully attained a GED diploma.

The Public Defender said the victim in this matter is very sympathetic, which is unusual in these types of cases. Assistant Attorney General Cecilia Reyna noted this was a serious matter and she suggested the defendant should be placed on a very strict probation conditions.

Richmond sentenced the defendant to seven years in jail however execution of sentencing was suspended and the defendant is placed on probation for five years under the conditions that he serve 135 days in jail, which the defendant has already served and is credited for time served.

The defendant is also ordered not to drink alcohol or congregate with people who are under the influence. He was also ordered to enroll in class, or rather be gainfully employed. According to the government's case, Ah Siu broke into the Vaitogi home and struck the homeowner on his face with a computer monitor. The victim told police the defendant also came to him with scissors and tried to stab him but missed. The family managed to restrain the defendant and the defendant while they contacted police.


A repeat offender received court leniency and was placed on probation for receiving stolen property. Earnest Vaimauga was sentenced by Chief Justice Michael Kruse. The defendant was initially facing charges of first-degree burglary, felony stealing, receiving stolen property and property damage, however in a plea deal with the government he pled guilty to receiving stolen property. Vaimauga apologized for his actions and pleaded with the court for another chance to start fresh and set his life on track.

Assistant Public Defender Ruth Risch Fuatagavi told the court that Vaimauga is interested in the culinary school in Malaeimi. She added the defendant should be placed on a strict probation terms. Acting Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau said the defendant should be placed on strict supervision by the probation office.

Kruse sentenced the defendant to five years probation under the conditions that he serve 300 hours of community service, undergo and successfully complete the culinary school course and remain a law abiding citizen. He was also ordered not to consume alcohol and not hang out with the co-defendants in this matter. Kruse told the defendant “they are not your friends anymore”.

The Chief Justice also told the defendant that he’s tired of seeing him in the court. Vaimauga was an accomplice in a matter where he encouraged juveniles to commit a burglary at an electronic store last year. It’s alleged that numerous items were taken, which include Ipods and other electronics. Court filings state the defendant took some of those items for himself. Vaimauga who was represented by the Public Defender’s office denied the charges against him.


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