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Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

COURT UNDECIDED ABOUT PLEA IN MURDER CASE

Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond, accompanied by Associate Judges Mamea Sala Jr and Muasau Tasina Tofili have yet to decide on the plea agreement for two of the three defendants charged in the brutal beating death of Sio Faumui.

The two defendants, Nemaia Poamo and Migo Misa are facing second degree murder along with Sefo Siaulaiga, whose jury trial is scheduled for next year. Prosecuting this case is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop while the Public Defender’s Office is representing Poamo and Misa.

The government moved to consolidate the three cases which were charged separately, and all three defendants objected to the motion. Richmond denied the motion.

However earlier this week the court was informed by Assistant Public Defenders Mike White and Leslie Cardin that their clients, Poamo and Misa, have accepted a plea agreement from the government.

Richmond noted that in the plea agreement between the government, and Poamo and Misa, there is a substantial reduction in the criminal charges. The plea agreement was not read in open court but Samoa News understands the defendants were to enter guilty pleas to second degree assault amended from second degree murder.

During the plea hearing yesterday, Richmond noted that the actual involvement of these individuals is complicated.

He said that he is still undecided at the moment how to proceed with the plea deal in this case and said that the judges need time to go through the details, so they can be familiar with this case. Richmond then moved to reschedule the case to next week Tuesday.

The government alleges that Siaulaiga, Misa and Poamo assaulted Faumui of Iliili with their hands and left him lying unconscious about 15 feet from the main road in Malaeimi. It’s alleged that Poamo and Siaulaiga further beat the victim with rocks, and Misa used a beer bottle to strike Faumui’s face.

According to the government’s case, Poamo and Migo punched and kicked Faumui at least 15 to 20 times and Faumui suffered multiple facial injuries.

All three have admitted to police that they assaulted Faumui, according to court affidavits.

LOKENI NU’USOLIA TO BE SENTENCED IN JANUARY

A man accused of receiving stolen property in connection with a burglary case at Kruse’s store in Leone has entered into a plea agreement with the government.

Lokeni Nu’usolia was initially charged with receiving stolen property, a felony. However in a plea agreement with the government, the defendant pled guilty to misdemeanor receiving stolen property.

The defendant is represented by Sharron Rancourt while prosecuting for the government is Assistant Attorney General Cecilia Reyna. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond who was accompanied by Associate Judges Mamea Sala Jr and Muasau Tasina Tofili accepted the plea agreement.

According to the government’s case Nu’usolia received stolen property obtained during the robbery of the FJ&P Kruse store in Leone, on September 13, 2009.

Nu’usolia is scheduled to be sentenced January 25, 2013.

PLEA HEARING FOR SILIGA POSTPONED IN ONE OF THREE EMBEZZLEMENT CASES

A woman charged in three separate cases, facing counts of embezzlement in each case, was scheduled to enter a guilty plea in one of the three cases against her on Monday.

Each embezzlement count is a class C felony punishable by up to seven years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of crime up to a maximum of $20,000 or both fine and jail time.

The government’s case against Katerina Siliga who’s represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White was heard before Chief Justice Michael Kruse.

The case in which Siliga is supposed to enter a guilty plea is in connection with an embezzlement case  where she’s accused of taking money from two women who gave the defendant a total amount of $900 so she could buy K-fares from Hawaiian Airlines for two victims.

The government alleges that there were no K-fares, and the defendant used part of the money for her personal use. She returned $700  to one woman, and gave $50 to the other woman, but still owes the amount of $200.

Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde asked the court to postpone this plea deal to the scheduled pre-trial conference date for the other two cases that are pending, so that these cases can be heard at the same time.

Assistant PD White did not object to the government’s request and Chief Justice granted the motion and scheduled the plea hearing next month.

The two other cases the government was referring to, is in connection with the defendant’s time as an Insurance Agent with South Seas Insurance.

It’s alleged in both cases that the defendant personally used the insurance payments given to her by the victims instead of paying on their insurance policies. Furthermore, the victims later found out that there were no life insurance policies with the South Seas Insurance Company.



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