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LOMITUSI UIAGALELEI CHARGED WITH SECOND DEGREE ASSAULT

A man accused of hitting another man with a shovel is now facing second degree assault, a class D felony which is punishable with up to 5 years in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Uiagalelei of Futiga has been in jail since last week Wednesday following the incident in Auasi on Tuesday.

According to the government’s case, the defendant was upset that the victim’s dog was barking during evening prayers and allegedly struck the victim’s dog with a shovel, which escalated with the victim himself allegedly being hit over the head with the shovel and a fight breaking out, until bystanders intervened and broke it.

The defendant, who’s represented by private counsel, Marcellus Tala Uiagalelei is scheduled to appear in the District Court today for a status hearing on his preliminary examination hearing, which would determine whether the government has sufficient evidence to have the case proceed to the High Court.

On the issue of bail, Uiagalelei asked the court to reduce the defendant’s bail given that he’s not a flight risk.

Judge Ward said the reason why the court set bail for the defendant at $10,000 is because it was unknown to the court the condition of the victim when he was hospitalized. Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde told the court the victim has been released from the hospital and is reported to be recovering from his injuries.

Ward asked Uiagalelei if the defendant has an alternative place to stay if he’s out on bail; the counsel responded the defendant can return to Futiga to live with his family.

The judge then set out conditions for the defendant to abide by if he’s released on bail. The defendant was ordered not to make direct or indirect contact with the victim and told told to remain a law abiding citizen while his case is pending. Bail was reduced to $5,000.

JAMES BARLOW AWAITING DISCOVERY FROM ASG

The former ASCC English instructor accused of giving alcohol to minors and allegedly having sex with three young boys filed a motion for a continuance due to the government not providing discovery to the defense.

James Barlow’s motion was filed by his lawyer Mark Ude, who said outside the courtroom that he’s looking at filing a motion for an expedited jury trial for his client; however he can’t move to have a jury trial because the government has yet to hand over the full discovery in this matter.

Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop-Folau did not object to the motion for a continuance on the pre-trial stage and told the court that she’ll get the discovery over to the defense.

The court did not schedule another date on this matter and told the parties in this case to put the matter back on calendar once the discovery matter is settled.

Barlow 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.

Aside from the sexually related charges, Barlow is also fighting the DUI charges against him and his termination at the college. Barlow remains in the custody of police on bail of $100,000

IELE SIAULAIGA ABIDES BY CONDITIONS OF HIS PROBATION

The High Court is satisfied that Iele Siaulaiga has complied with the conditions of his five-year probation however the only condition that he has yet to fulfill is undergoing anger management counseling.

Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond who was accompanied on the bench with Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr. noted the defendant has already paid his $1,000 fine and restitution of $170.

Richmond scheduled another probation hearing on November 15, 2012, adding that by then the defendant should have completed anger management counseling.

Siaulaiga was sentenced after he pled guilty to second degree assault in a plea deal with the government where he admitted to striking another man, causing the victim physical injury which led to a broken jaw.

As a condition of his five year probation Siaulaiga was sentenced to serve 20 months in jail, however he would only have to serve six months while the court moved to suspend the rest of his jail term and placed him on a probation for five years.

The government initially charged Siaulaiga with second degree assault, a Class A felony, but the plea agreement led the defendant to enter a guilty plea to second degree assault which is a lesser offense.

Siauliaga is represented by Public Defender Ruth Risch Fuatagavi while prosecuting is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau.



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