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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

TITIO JR CHARGED WITH THREE JUVENILES

The government has filed a new case against Asofa Titio Jr and three juveniles in connection with a break-in which occurred June 13, 2012 at the Jade Restaurant in Nu’uuli.

Titio and the three juveniles are facing second degree burglary, stealing and property damage. In addition the juveniles are also charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, second degree and receiving stolen property.

The burglary, stealing and conspiracy counts are class C felonies that are punishable by up to seven years in jail, and a fine of up to $5,000. Property damage and receiving stolen property are class A misdemeanors punishable up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000- or both fine and imprisonment.

According to the government’s case the restaurant was reported to be burglarized while it was closed, and the culprits are alleged to have gained entrance from a window in the women’s restroom located at the back of the restaurant. 

It’s alleged $100 in coins were taken from the cash register, along with six bottles of hard liquor and 12 bottles of Vailima Beer, altogether valued at $336.

The estimated cost of the broken window is $120, and the cash register was also damaged. Police interviewed Titio Jr who admitted that he and three juveniles, including his little brother had come up with a plan to break into Jade’s restaurant.

According to the government’s case Titio Jr said his little brother and the other juveniles removed the nuts and bolts of the bars that covered the window where one of the juveniles gained entrance, opening the window for him and the other juveniles.

It's alleged that Titio Jr admitted once he was inside he grabbed sodas and two bottles of hard liquor, and he gave his little brother the money taken from the restaurant. Titio Jr told police after they left they divided the money taken amongst themselves and he got $5.00. Police said statements from the other juveniles corroborated the testimony by Titio Jr.

In the meantime Titio Jr who remains in the Tafuna Correctional Facility (TC) on $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 Sepp’s Wholesale store in the Industrial Park, back in February.

COURT DENIES MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE CASES OF MR AND MRS MALAE

Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond, accompanied on the bench by Associate Judges Mamea Sala Jr and Muasau Tafili Tosina, has denied the government’s motion to consolidate two cases against Tau Malae.

The government’s first case against Mr. Malae accuses him of performing sexual acts with his wife’s two nieces last year, where he’s facing charges of sodomy, two charges of first degree sexual abuse, two counts of deviate sexual assault and rape in the first matter.

In the second case, Tau Malae and his wife Miracle Malae are facing charges of tampering with witnesses and concealing an offense.

According to the government’s case, it is alleged that Tau and Miracle Malae obtained travel documents for two minor complaining witnesses and paid for one way tickets for them to travel to the Independent State of Samoa, in an effort to foil the prosecution. 

Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop told the court the complaining witnesses are both minors and are the nieces of Miracle. The nieces are the complaining witnesses in these cases.

The Deputy AG said the government must now shoulder the expense of bringing the complaining witnesses and their guardians over to the Territory and in light of limited resources, the Government contends consolidating the three cases makes the most economic sense.

If the three cases are consolidated, the Government will incur one trip from the Independent State of Samoa to the Territory for the complaining witnesses and their guardians. 

The complaining witnesses will only have to testify once for all three cases. Fiti Sunia who represents the couple opposed the motion. He noted these are two separate cases with different witnesses.

Defense counsel pointed out the new case against the defendants are prejudicial to the first case. Associate Justice Richmond asked the government and defense if they are ready to proceed to trial next week Tuesday.

They both responded that they are ready to go forward in the jury trial in the first case, and Judge Richmond ruled to try the cases separately.

FAAFETAI KASIANO RELEASED FROM JAIL

Chief Justice Michel Kruse released Fa’afetai Kasiano from jail yesterday after being detained for six months. Fa’afetai Kasiano was jailed for 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.

The defendant apologized to the court, the government and the victim for his actions. For the property damage count the defendant was sentenced to one year, while he received six months for the PPD charge, and the sentence are to run concurrently.

However execution of sentencing is suspended and the defendant is place on probation for two years under the conditions that he remain a law abiding citizen, attend and successfully complete anger management and alcohol counseling courses.

The defendant was also ordered not to consume any alcohol while under probation and he must visit the probation office regularly. The defendant is also ordered to serve 300 hours of community service coordinated by Probation office.

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 according to witnesses.

It's alleged that Kasiano struck and shattered a glass door with a baseball bat. The witnesses told the defendant that when they contacted police, the defendant had fled the area. According to the government, the cost of the door is $128.00.

KRUSE ACCEPTS PLEA DEAL IN ASSAULT CASE

Chief Justice Michael Kruse has accepted the plea agreement between the government and Mika A’asa, accused of throwing a rock which hit another man.

The defendant who’s facing second degree assault and public peace disturbance, pleaded guilty to second degree assault last week Tuesday.

However the Chief Justice continued the plea twice, noting the defendant must fully understand what he’s pleading guilty to.

Yesterday Kruse accepted the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing for the defendant next month. According to the plea agreement that was read in court, the defendant admits that he threw a rock which hit the victim. 

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.

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



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