FORMER DIRECTOR SALA CHARGED WITH DUI FOLLOWING ACCIDENT IN LAULI’I
Mike Sala, former Director of the Department of Homeland Security, made his initial appearance in the District Court Wednesday morning on charges of Driving under the Influence of alcohol and careless driving. The citations issued stem from an alleged accident in Lauli’i on Tuesday afternoon.
Sala posted bail while at the Tafuna Correctional Facility the same day of the incident.
Assistant Attorney General Lornalei Meredith during the defendant’s appearance informed the court that the government is conducting further investigation and additional charges may be filed in this case. The government claims the defendant was under the influence of alcohol and was behind the wheel and that his vehicle ran into an oncoming vehicle. The defendant contacted Samoa News saying that the oncoming vehicle was on his side of the road and he avoided what would have been a more severe accident if he hadn’t been paying attention. “I went back to check on the guy who was ok, and after a while the cops came looking for me and I was with some friends near my house” he said.
MALCOLM DALLE ENTERS GUILTY PLEA
Malcolm Dalle will be sentenced on March 11, 2013 as he has entered into a plea agreement with the government in two criminal cases against him. The first case against Dalle charges him with two counts of stealing and two counts of forgery on allegations that he stole checks belonging to Friendly Car Rental and cashed the checks.
The second case against Dalle accuses him of stealing, forging and cashing checks belonging to Pacific Channel Samoa. The defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of stealing and two counts of forgery in the first case and pleaded guilty to stealing in the second case while the remaining count of forgery was dismissed.
Each stealing and forgery 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.
The government’s cases against Dalle took place in September and October 2012, respectively.
The defendant has agreed to pay restitution to both victims in each case.
Dalle is represented by Assistant Public Defender Michael White, while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.
STERLING FUGA ARRESTED AND CHARGED…AGAIN
Felony charges have been filed against Sterling Fuga on allegations that he burglarized a home in Leone and allegedly took off with items from the home. Fuga from Leone made his initial appearance in the District Court Wednesday where Judge John Ward denied bail for the defendant.
The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde. The defendant is charged with second degree burglary, 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 of commission up to $20,000.
He’s also facing a stealing charge which is a class A misdemeanor punishable with up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both and trespassing is also a class B misdemeanor, which carries a jail term of up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $500 or both.
The government alleges that police were contacted for assistance on Jan. 16, 2013 on allegations that the defendant unlawfully entered into a home. Court filings say, a woman who stays at the house heard the screen door open and close while she was cleaning. It’s alleged a couple of minutes later the woman heard the screen door open and close again. The woman looked outside of the house and saw Fuga leaving the house with bottle of wine wrapped as a gift and loose change of $4. Court filings say, the defendant did not have permission to enter the house, nor had permission to take any items from the residence.
XAVIER RODRIGUEZ ARRAIGNED IN THE HIGH COURT
Xavier Rodriguez facing first degree burglary and stealing was arraigned in the High Court Wednesday. The burglary count is a class D felony, which is punishable from five to 15 years in jail while the stealing—a class C felony — carries a jail term of up to seven years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
During his arraignment before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond the defendant entered pleas of not guilty to the charges against him. The felony charges against the defendant stem from an alleged burglary in Mesepa, and are in addition to a public peace disturbance count against him. A second suspect in this case is still at large.
According to the government’s case, the victim contacted police for assistance, regarding his store when it was allegedly broken into and the defendant, along with another suspect (who’s still at large) were caught on the store’s video tape.
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