Court Report



A man who pleaded guilty to being in possession of a vicious animal, namely a dog that attacked a child unprovoked, was sentenced to six months probation. Ama Posima of Afono, the owner of the dog, pled guilty to a reduced charge on Friday. 

Initially the defendant was facing the count as a felony, however in a plea agreement with the government, the defendant pled guilty to the same count as a misdemeanor.

Sentencing was handed down by Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond and Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr.

Posima apologized for what happened and promised the court that he’ll never again take in a dog as a pet.

Assistant Public Defender Mike White informed the court that the defendant does not have a criminal record and this was his first time before the court. He has been a resident of the territory for a very long time, White noted. The public defender asked the court to place Masima on probation.

Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde did not object to placing the defendant on probation, given his clean record. Richmond sentenced the defendant to six months in jail, however execution of sentence was suspended and the defendant placed on probation, under certain conditions.

He was ordered to pay restitution of $186.25, and a fine of $300 which would be deducted from his $500 bond.

According to the government’s case, on June 22, 2012 a woman filed a request to help regarding a vicious animal, a dog, and reported that her son was attacked by the defendant’s dog. Court filings state the victim was walking to his Uncle’s house with a friend to get an X-Box.

The victim told police he did not know the dog was coming toward him and the dog jumped on him, biting his hand. The victim sought medical treatment and received three stitches on his lower right arm from the dog bite.

On July 6, 2012 police visited the defendant’s residence in Afono along with two employees from the Department of Agriculture and the victim directed police to the home where the dog was kept.

Police said they proceeded to the home of the dog’s owner however the defendant was not at home at the time, but his wife was. Police spoke with defendant’s wife and explained what had happened.

Court filings allege the police informed the defendant’s wife that the Department of Agriculture employees had to take the dog, as it was not safe to keep the dog around the area because it has bitten someone unprovoked. The defendant’s wife agreed and the dog was taken by the Department of Agriculture workers.


Edwin Atonio, who’s charged with second degree assault, will be arraigned in the High Court on Monday, after he waived his right to a preliminary examination in the District Court yesterday. The 19-year old of Ili’ili was arrested on allegations that he struck another man with a tea cup.

According to the government’s case, the defendant was in a drinking session with the victim, when the victim confronted him about stealing his iPOD. It’s alleged the victim punched the defendant, who responded by hitting the victim with a tea cup.

It’s alleged the defendant left the scene and went to his house and returned with a machete, however when the defendant saw the victim’s family members he threw the machete into the bushes near the area. Police arrested the defendant and confiscated the tea cup and the machete involved in this incident.

The victim suffered a severe cut on the top of his right eye and three cuts below his eye. The victim was transported to LBJ hospital where he was admitted for an emergency operation due to the severity of the cut on his face. Atonio, who’s represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White, made his initial appearance in the District Court yesterday morning.


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