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Convicted murderer charged in 2009 burglary case

reporters@samoanews.com

The government has filed charges of burglary and stealing in a July 2009 incident against Mark Faipaua, who is currently serving jail time for a murder that occurred in September 2009.

He made his initial appearance in the District Court last week on the new charges.

Faipaua was arraigned in the High Court where he will enter a plea to the first degree burglary and stealing counts. First degree burglary is a class B felony punishable by five to 15 years in jail, while the stealing count is a class C felony which carries a jail term of up to seven years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

According to the government’s case, on July 19, 2009 the Tool Shop was broken into where more than $1,000, a DVD player and a laptop were removed from the store.

The court filings state that a security guard who worked about 200 yards from the Tool Shop told police the defendant was with him on the night in question. The witness said Faipaua left and later returned with a flashlight, DVD player, a black bag which contained a laptop, money and a gold chain.

Another witness told police that Faipaua came to his house with money, beer and a portable DVD player.

During the investigation, Faipaua admitted to police he had gotten into the Tool Shop by climbing the fence in the back of the building.

The defendant allegedly pried open the wire fence that surrounded the window next to the back door. He also used a hammer to forcibly open the door at the back and while inside he searched inside all the desks, found a laptop bag, portable DVD player, an envelope with money and a jar of coins.

Faipaua told police he used the money to buy beer, food and phone cards. The laptop and DVD player were recovered by police.

The defendant is represented by the Public Defender’s office while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag.

BACKGROUND

It was after the alleged break in at the Tool Shop that Faipaua was charged in connection with the murder of 54-year old Lisati Uili.

He was initially charged with first-degree murder and tampering with physical evidence, however in a plea agreement with the government,n he pled guilty to second degree murder.

Second degree murder is a class A felony punishable by life in prison or 10 to 30 years imprisonment.

When Faipaua was sentenced in the murder case, Chief Justice Michael Kruse noted the defendant was not new to the court. Prior to the murder of Uili, Faipaua had previously served 20 months in prison for criminally negligent homicide in connection with the death of Tuvalu fisherman, Kalele Kaleka in 2006.

In the death of the Tuvalu fisherman, the court at the time had sentenced Faipaua to five years in jail, but execution of the sentence was suspended and he was placed on five year’s probation under the condition that he serve 20 months in jail.

For the murder case of Uili, the court sentenced Faipaua to 30-years in jail, which was to be served consecutively with the prior sentence regarding the death of the Tuvalu fisherman.



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