DPS OFFICERS AINA AND TUA TO BE TRIED IN SEPARATE CASES
Correction Officer Rocky Tua and Police Officer Fiti Aina, who have been charged on allegations they allowed inmates to go to the store, are now set for jury trial. The defendants are each charged with aiding the escape of a prisoner, permitting escape of prisoner, and public servant acceding to corruption.
If convicted the defendants face up to five years in jail or a fine of up to $5,000 for each charge. Officer Aina is represented by Fiti Sunia while Mataiupevao Leupolu is representing Officer Tua. Prosecuting the case is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop.
Defense counsels Sunia and Leupolu had filed a sever motion to try each defendant in separate jury trials.
Sunia said that although the charges are similar charges, they stem from two separate incidents and should not be tried together. Ms Jessop did not object to the motion and Chief Justice Michael Kruse granted the motion to try these cases separately.
According to the government’s case, police conducted a raid in July last year at the Territorial Correctional Facility, where beer was found in one of the cells. An investigation revealed that police officers were sending inmates out, unsupervised, to a nearby store to purchase beer, beer, food and phone cards.
WOMAN DENIES CHARGES OF DEVIATE SEXUAL ASSAULT
Ekelagi Ofagalilo of Sogi has entered a not guilty plea to the two criminal charges leveled against her during her arraignment yesterday morning before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond. The 30-year-old woman is facing charges of attempted deviate sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. The criminal complaint was launched on allegations that Ofagalilo allegedly touched a 13-year-old boy inappropriately.
She is out on bail of $5,000 and is represented by Acting Public Defender Leslie Cardin while prosecuting this matter is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop.
The incident came to light when the mother of the victim filed a complaint after she was told that Ofagalilo had allegedly attempted to touch her son’s private parts and also pulled down his shorts and grabbed his buttocks,
Police spoke to the 13-year-old who said the incident occurred when they went swimming.
Police spoke to the 30-year-old woman who admitted that she jumped on his back, but said that was because they were playing rugby. Ofagalilo denies the allegations made by the young boy. Pre-trial conference in this case is now set for March, 2013.
LOKENI NU’USOLIA PLACED ON PROBATION FOR RECEIVING STOLEN ITEMS
Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond placed Lokeni Nu’usolia on two year’s probation as part of his one year sentence. The defendant was initially charged with receiving stolen property, a felony, however in a plea agreement with the government the defendant pled guilty to the reduced charge of receiving stolen property, a class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail.
As part of the plea agreement with the government, no jail time was recommended for the defendant. According to the government’s case, Nu’usolia was charged in connection with receiving stolen property obtained during the robbery of the FJ&P Kruse store in Leone, on Sept.13, 2009.
MAN ACCUSED IN SCHOOL BURGLARY WILL FIGHT CASE IN JURY TRIAL
Plea negotiations were unsuccessful in the government’s case against Mu Matu’u, who is accused of involvement in burglarizing Leone High School classrooms where iMAC computers and laptops valued close to $5,000 were removed.
Matu’u was in court for a change of plea hearing, however Assistant Public Defender Mike White requested a jury trial date. Chief Justice Michael Kruse scheduled the jury trial in this case for Oct. 7, 2013.
Matu’u is charged with burglary first degree, stealing and two charges of receiving stolen property. According to court filings, on Jan. 11, 2012, laptops, computers, keyboards and mouses were removed from Leone High School.
During the police investigation, a juvenile found to be involved, told police that on Jan. 10, 2012, he was with Matu’u and Carl Lafaele Tauili’ili when they burglarized the school and took off with the computers.
Matu’u denied any involvement when questioned by police and attempts to locate Tauili’ili were unsuccessful.
According to court filings, a week later another burglary occurred at Leone High School. This time, Matu’u admitted he was involved in the first burglary that occurred on Jan. 10th, and he was the look-out while the juvenile broke into the classroom and came out with the laptops.
The defendant further admitted to police that he sold one of the laptops and received $60, and he was waiting for the remaining payment of $120.