MICHAEL TUI CHARGED IN ASSAULT CASE
A man accused of striking another man with a beer bottle has been charged with second degree assault, a class D felony punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of $5,000 or both.
Michael Tui was arraigned in the High Court yesterday, where he entered a not guilty plea to the charge against him. Tui is represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White while prosecuting for the government is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.
According to the government’s case, police responded to a public peace disturbance on Jan. 4, 2013 that occurred at Luisa’s Laundromat in Ili’li.
Court filings say that police met with a witness who said he was on his way home from bingo and he stopped at where the victim was hanging out with some friends.
The witness stated that he was there with the victim and his friends, who were about to leave when co-defendant Toese Asiata approached them, saying that they were making too much noise and his father was trying to rest. The victim told Asiata that he had no right to tell them where they can hang out.
It’s alleged this got Asiata upset and he wanted to fight with the victim.
Another man who was at the scene stopped the victim and Asiata from fighting. Court filings say, about 45 minutes later, a truck pulled up and Asiata got out and went toward the victim, however a bystander attempted to stop Asiata and he was punched. In the meantime, the witness heard a bottle crack and he saw the defendant had struck the victim on the head with a beer bottle.
ONE OF TWO MEN IMPLICATED IN THE O&O BURGLARY ENTERS GUILTY PLEA
Johnny Talia, one of the two men charged in connection with a burglary of the O&O Warehouse in Petesa during February last year has entered into a plea agreement with the government. Talia is charged together with co-defendant Mosaiah Olo. Both are facing first degree burglary and stealing charges, which are felonies.
The plea agreement in Talia’s case was held yesterday, while the plea hearing for Olo’s case will be held later this week. According to the plea agreement, Talia will enter a guilty plea to stealing while the government moved to dismiss the burglary charge.
The stealing count is a class C felony punishable by imprisonment for up to seven years, a fine of up to $5,000, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime up to a maximum of $20,000, or both fine and imprisonment.
With his guilty plea, Talia admits that they removed the items and hid them somewhere so they could be sold later to get cash. The defendant told the court that he was the one who piled up the boxes that were taken from the O&O warehouse.
The court heard from the defendant that his co-defendant entered the gate that was open and went inside the warehouse and removed the items. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement. According to the government’s case on Feb. 8, 2011, a police detective, who lives next to the O&O warehouse, reported to the police the burglary in progress.
The Detective told police he witnessed four suspects removing merchandise from the warehouse and was able to recognize them by face as they rested under a light pole near the warehouse. According to court filings, two of the defendants were identified as Talia and OIo.
Court filings say when police arrived the three took off on foot.
The Detective then directed the responding police officers to the stolen merchandise where a total of ten cases were recovered.
The total value of the stolen items was $600 and the products were photographed and returned to O&O. Three of the four suspects have made admissions to police in this matter.
Talia and Olo admitted to helping remove the stolen items from within the O&O compound along with one other suspect.
Talia and Olo said it was the other suspects who suggested that they remove the items and hide them somewhere so they could be sold later to get cash. Court filing says that when that suspect was contacted, he denied any involvement in the incident. Sentencing for Talia has been scheduled on Feb. 15, 2013.
AUKUSITINO FANENE WILL FIGHT HIS CASE IN JURY TRIAL
Aukusitino Fanene of Pago Pago, charged in connection with an alleged assault that occurred at his residence last year, is fighting his case with a jury trial. Fanene is charged with second degree assault and private peace disturbance.
The second degree assault is a class D felony punishable up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both fine and imprisonment while the PPD count is a class C misdemeanor, punishable with up to 15 days in jail, a fine of $300 or both fine and jail term.
Fanene was in court for his pre-trial conference yesterday when he asked the court through his lawyer Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cardin for a jury trial. Ms Cardin informed the court that both parties have yet to come to an agreement in this matter.
The matter was heard before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond and Associate Judges, Mamea Sala Jr. and Muasau Tasina Tofili. Richmond set the jury trial for this case on Aug. 26, 2013. According to the government’s case, it was reported to the police that an assault incident occurred on Nov. 17, 2012 in Pago Pago.
A witness told police that he observed the defendant strike the victim eight times with a folding chair on the head and body. The alleged assault resulted in the victim suffering swelling and bruises to his head and left arm. The police took into evidence the steel folding chair that was used in the alleged assault.
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