BROTHERS RELEASED FROM JAIL
The High Court has released two brothers from jail after serving 24 months, on charges of breaking into an A’asu home and removing an Xbox, games, TV, one laptop and an amplifier, in 2008. Filautoa Fuiono and Niko Fuiono are convicted of second-degree burglary and stealing. The brothers apologized to the court and assured the judges that they are remorseful of their actions. They pleaded with the court to release them from jail so they can find jobs to care for their wives, children and especially their parents.
Ta’aloloioufaiva Lt John Cendrowski spoke on behalf of the brothers and asked the court to release Filautoa and Niko from jail. He assured the court that he will take full responsibility for the defendants and he will make sure they will not get into any more trouble. Assistant Attorney General Kelly Dixon told the court that given the recommendations made by the probation office and the testimony by Ta’aloloioufaiva, as orator of his family in Aasu, the government will not object to releasing the pair from jail.
Lt. Cendrowski is also heads the Traffic Division with Department of Public Safety.
Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond who was accompanied on the bench by Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr., ordered the stay of the remaining jail term which was imposed on the brothers. Richmond said given that the defendants (from Samoa) do not have any more ties to Samoa, therefore the court will dismiss the order to have them depart the territory as part of their probation. The Associate Justice also ordered the defendant to 300 hours of community service towards the victim of this case, because not every item that was removed from the house was given back to the owner. Niko and Filautoa were initially charged with two counts of burglary and two charges of stealing. In a plea agreemet with the government, the pair pled guilty to second-degree burglary and stealing, while the remaining charges were dismissed.
DRUG DEFENDANT ENTERS GUILTY PLEA
Drug defendant Niue Niue has entered into a plea agreement with the government. Niue was charged together with his son Feleti Niue in connection with a police raid where a 12-inch tall marijuana plant growing in the plantation as well as marijuana seeds and joints were found at Niue’s plantation in 2010. Niue who’s facing unlawful possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, has pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of marijuana a lesser charge. Chief Justice Michael Kruse accepted the plea agreement with sentencing scheduled on May 3, 2012. Niue’s son Feleti has already entered a guilty plea to aiding and abetting.
STATUS ON IPOD CASE
The government has dismissed the felony stealing charge against Rockshane Siaki in connection with the two IPODs allegedly removed from ACE hardware in 2010. The move came after the lawyer for the defendant Assistant Public Defender Donna Clement revealed during the status hearing that the incident occurred when Siaki was 17 years of age. Assistant Attorney General Cecilia Reyna upon viewing Siaki’s birth certificate confirmed the defendant was a juvenile when the alleged stealing occurred, she moved to dismiss the charges. Reyna told the court that this matter will be handed over to prosecutor Terry Bullinger who deals mainly with juvenile matters. District Court Judge John Ward granted the government’s move and told Siaki that she was released from custody.
The other defendant in this matter is Police officer Si’ufa’alele Sai who’s still in custody on bail of $5,000. Officer Sai is facing embezzlement and tampering with physical evidence. Court filing says, the IPOD involved was from a stealing case which alleged to have occurred on November 2010. Its alleged that two girls allegedly took two IPODS, from ACE hardware and police were contacted and the two IPODS were handed over to police. According to the government’s case Officer Sai confirmed she did receive one of the IPOD’s and she put it in her locker, however someone broke her locker and the IPOD was removed. Court filings state that Officer Seloti who is yet to be charged because he’s currently off island told investigators that he received the second IPOD and took it home. According to the government’s case both police officers were ordered by their watch commander to prepare a property report and turn the IPODs in as evidence however they both failed to do so.