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CURTIS YANDALL GUILTY PLEA UNDER ADVISEMENT

Chief Justice Michael Kruse has taken under advisement the plea agreement between the government and Curtis Yandall charged in connection with the death of a young man in October 2010.

Yandall is charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide which are both felonies.

The manslaughter charge carries a jail term of up to seven years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both, while the criminally negligent homicide is punishable up to five years in jail and a fine of $5,000 or both.

Yandall entered his guilty plea to criminally negligent homicide while the government moved to dismiss the manslaughter count.

Kruse told the defendant that that during sentencing both sides are free to make their own recommendations which are not binding by the court, as it has sole responsibility for determining the appropriate sentence within the limit of the law.

The Chief Justice told the defendant that the court may impose a different sentence than that which is recommended by both parties and he will not be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea. Yandall told the court he understands.

The Chief Justice took the plea deal under advisement and ordered the probation office for a probated sentence on this matter.

Kruse scheduled the status hearing on the plea deal for June 22, 2012 and informed both defense and prosecution to be prepared, as sentencing for the defendant may also be heard that same day.

Yandall, who is from Pago Pago is out on a surety bond of $7,500.

According to the government’s case the victim Tualaulelei fell off a truck that was driven by the defendant, and was not immediately taken to the hospital, as he was not perceived to be injured.

Court documents state that the victim was admitted to the hospital on October 29, 2010; and the Surgical Clinic doctor, Faiaoga Tosi, said the victim suffered a broken collar bone, and cracks on the base and left side of the skull.

Seven days later the victim died. Prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Cecilia Reyna.

ANDREW PETERS IN HIGH COURT

District Court Judge John Ward found that there was probable cause to have Andrew Peter’s case bound over to the High Court.

Peters is accused of burglarizing a taxi that was parked in front of a store in Pago Pago, where he allegedly took off with an iPhone.

He was initially charged with burglary, stealing and felony resisting arrest, however following the preliminary examination hearing, Judge Ward reduced the felony resisting arrest to misdemeanor fleeing from police.

Ward noted that there was no evidence by the government supporting the felony resisting arrest.

Peters is being held in custody on bail set at $30,000.

He is scheduled to appear in High Court today for his arraignment, where he is set to enter a plea to the charges against him.

According to the government’s case, police received a call from the complaining witness that someone had stolen an iPhone from his taxi.

Court filings say that the incident occurred on May 22, 2012. The victim told police he had stopped at the Shining Star Store and noticed three young men. The victim went on to say that while he was at the counter, he noticed the defendant walking past his car and when he exited the store, the three men started running.

Court documents say that when the victim got into his car he immediately noticed that his iPhone was missing and he went after the three men.

The victim told police that he tried to follow the suspects, however they managed to run between the houses and he couldn’t find them.

The government alleges that upon receiving the complaint, investigating officers recognized the description of one of the defendants, who is also a suspect in other investigations.

Court documents say that when police visited the area where the defendant usually hangs out, police saw the defendant enter a home in Pago Pago without permission. Police attempted to secure the area but were unsuccessful.

According to the government’s case police were in pursuit of the defendant when they came across two juveniles who told police that the defendant gave them the IPhone to return to the taxi driver, because the defendant did not want to go to jail since he was leaving soon for Hawai’i.

The juveniles told police that they were with the defendant the day he stole the iPhone from the taxi. Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cardin represents the defendant while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag.

TAVITA TUISALO’O ACCEPTS PLEA DEAL FROM GOVERNMENT  

A man who’s facing drug charges following a raid of his home by police has accepted a plea offer from the government which will be heard today in the High Court.

Tavita Tausalo’o was scheduled to have his jury trial later this month however, he has changed his mind and accepted the government’s offer.

Details of the plea deal have not been made public yet because it has not been read in open court.

Tuisaloo is facing unlawful possession of a controlled substance, which is the result of a raid which was conducted by the Vice and Narcotics Division with the Department of Public Safety. Police confiscated from the defendant’s home a live marijuana plant, live ammunition and drug paraphernalia.

The defendant is out on $10,000 bail.  He is represented by Public Defender Ruth Risch Fuatagavi while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag.



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