Login

Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

TWO CRIMINAL CASES AGAINST IOANE FAIMATA RESOLVED IN PLEA

Ioane Faimata is charged in two cases filed by the government, in connection with  burglaries in Pavaia’i and Faleniu. The first case alleges that Faimata burglarized the Pelene Store in Pavaia’i in May of last year, while the second case accuses Faimata of burglarizing the Bell Mart Store in Faleniu in May, 2012. 

The defendant is charged with first degree burglary and stealing in each case. The defendant has entered a guilty plea to second degree burglary which was amended from burglary first degree and stealing.

Upon his guilty plea the defendant admitted that in the early hours of May 16, 2012 he broke into Pelene’s store, a break-in that he and kids from his village planned to do after the store closed, because he was the only one in the group that could fit into a hole they created at the back of the store. He admitted they took several items such as chips, beer, footwear and numerous rolls of quarters valued at $600. 

The store owner reported to the police that cash taken from the store was $1,050. The defendant also admitted that he and another man planned to burglarize the Bell Mart Store on May 8, 2012 when they were in a drinking session.  Faimata said the other suspect told him that he was aware of an open space at the back of the store where an air conditioner is to be mounted. 

The defendant admitted that he pulled both sides of the plywood to gain entrance while the other suspect waited outside the store. The defendant said he took items including $240 and coins which were in the amount of $900 then they divided the money amongst themselves. 

The defendant has also agreed to pay restitution to the victims in these cases. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing on February 15, 2013.

VICTOR LIWAN ENTERS GUILTY PLEA

A Filipino man charged in connection with a sexually related case that was set to go to trial has now entered a guilty plea. Victor Liwan Tacloloy was initially charged with first degree sexual abuse, resisting arrest, third degree assault and private peace disturbance.

However in a plea agreement, the defendant pleaded guilty to resisting arrest, a class D felony which is punishable by up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both— while the government moved to dismiss the remaining three charges.  The plea agreement was accepted.

Upon his guilty plea the defendant admitted that he resisted arrest when police attempted to place him under arrest.

Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond who was accompanied on the bench by Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr informed the defendant that if the court accepts his guilty plea, and the court renders sentencing that was not recommended by both parties, he may not change his guilty plea.

Richmond then accepted the plea agreement and scheduled sentencing for February 15, 2013.

The charges against the defendant were initiated after the defendant engaged in a drinking session with an underaged girl and it’s alleged after the party, he touched the minor inappropriately. Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop is prosecuting this matter while the defendant is represented by Public Defender Ruth Risch Fuatagavi.

JOVIAN TOLOA TO ENTER GUILTY PLEA IN ASSAULT CASE

Jovian Toloa, who’s facing second degree assault, public peace disturbance, and endangering the welfare of a minor, will enter into a plea agreement with the government. The defendant, who appeared before Chief Justice Michael Kruse yesterday for his pre-trial conference, has taken the government offer in a plea deal.  

Toloa is charged together with Nisani Euini and a male juvenile, however the co-defendant’s cases are pending in the District Court, on misdemeanor charges.  The incident stemmed from a misunderstanding, where the victim was giving Toloa’s girlfriend a ride home, however Toloa and his co-defendants assumed the girl was in a relationship with the victim and allegedly assaulted the victim in his vehicle while the victim’s daughter was present. 

Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cardin informed the court that a plea agreement has been reached and signed however the proper paperwork has yet to be filed. Details of the plea agreement have yet to be disclosed.

According to the government’s case, Toloa struck the victim with a PVC pipe on the face which resulted in the victim losing a tooth, and suffering a swollen lip. The victim’s daughter was in the car and the defendant was told by the victim, but the defendant continued to hit the victim with the pipe.

It’s alleged that the victim managed to get a hold of the pipe and threw it in the back seat and tried to hold his daughter down for her safety. Court filings state that the victim told the police that his daughter was screaming out loud but the defendants did not stop beating the victim.

The government alleges that Euini and the juvenile were punching the victim. The juvenile is alleged to have punched the rear window where the victim’s daughter was sitting, and the window shattered.

Glass pieces were found in the victim’s daughter’s hair and clothes. It's alleged the victim pushed the juvenile from the car and turned the ignition back on, backed up and drove away when Toloa threw a beer bottle at the car, hitting the hood of the car.  Toloa has been incarcerated since November with bail set at $5,000. Prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.

ATTACKER ENTERS GUILTY PLEA 

The government case against Lealofi Laulu has been settled over a plea agreement. Laulu was charged with second degree assault and public peace disturbance; however he struck a plea with the government and pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of third degree assault while the PPD count was dismissed.  

Upon his guilty plea Laulu admits that he struck another man’s face with a beer bottle during curfew. Associate Justice Lyle Richmond accepted the defendant’s guilty plea and scheduled sentencing on February 11, 2013.

According to the government’s case the incident was reported to the police by the victim who said the defendant struck him on the face.

The victim told police he approached the defendant and his friends to go home because it was close to village curfew time in Leone. The government claims after the victim told the defendant, he was struck in the face with a beer bottle and then the defendant took off on foot.



THE NEW COMMENTS PROCESS

To make comments, you will need to register. You can register under your real name or use a 'screen' name. This way, people will be able to follow comments and make comments back and forth to each other. If you choose to use a 'screen name' no one will know your true identity. In either case, no email addresses will be available to anyone. It is an automated process. If you have questions, email: webmaster@samoanews.com

You currently are not logged in, please LOGIN to post comments.