INMATE SENTENCED TO LEAVE THE TERRITORY
An inmate who violated his work release conditions has been sentenced to serve 20 months in jail, as part of his five year sentence. Following the 20 months, he will depart and remain outside the territory for the remainder of his probation period.
I’umalo Seiuli was charged with two counts of escape while on work release and in a plea agreement with the government the defendant has pled guilty to one count of escape from work release while the remaining charge was dismissed.
The defendant apologized for his actions and noted that he’s remorseful.
Seiuli has been serving a jail term since Feb. 13, 2009 for his conviction of unlawful possession of a Controlled Substance, and while incarcerated the defendant applied for work release, which he was granted.
During sentencing, it was revealed from the probation report that the defendant came to the territory on a 30-day permit in 2005, yet Seiuli’s first work release program application was processed and approved on July 14, 2011.
The government claims that the defendant was approved a second time for work release to work for Sili’s Burger and Car Wash where he started on Apr. 23, 2012.
His work release was terminated on Sept. 2, 2011 following the defendant’s random drug test, which came out positive for marijuana, say court filings.
Seiuli’s second work release program was terminated a month after he was hired, following a criminal investigation involving employees of Sili’s was initiated — they were questioned regarding a box of drugs seized by Custom’s Officers at the Fagatogo US Post office.
According to the government’s case, several sources also told police they had observed the defendant at his family residence in Nua and Se’etaga while out on work release.
Samoa News contacted Warden Luamana’i Maifea who approved work releases for inmates but he declined to comment. “I have nothing to say about that,” he told Samoa News.
Deputy Commissioner Leiseau Laumoli told Samoa News that he was not aware of this case, but confirmed that the Warden is the one who approves work release for inmates incarcerated at the Tafuna Correctional Facility.
Richmond sentenced Seiuli to five years in jail, however execution of sentencing was suspended, and the defendant was placed on five years probation under the condition that he serves 20 months in jail.
The government claims the conditions of work release did not allow him to deviate to other places, but only to go to his work place and back to the jail. Each time work release was granted, the government says, the defendant was told of the rules or conditions of the work release program.
FIREARM COUNT FILED AGAINST MANU LEFATIA
In a raid conducted by the Detectives of the Vice and Narcotics division on Jan. 30, 2013 at a Malaeloa residence, police confiscated a .38 revolver along with drug paraphernalia. The home belongs to Manua Lefatia, who has since been charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $1,000 or both. Lefatiua made his initial appearance in District Court yesterday.
According to the government’s case, police executed a search warrant while the defendant was sleeping at his house and upon entering the house police found a handgun next to Lefatia. Police also found empty plastic ziplog baggies and a pipe commonly use to smoke methamphetamine. The defendant said the .38 handgun was a gift from his friend, who had left for Samoa.
FELONY CHARGES FILED IN ASSAULT CASE
McClusky Fagata Jr., also known as Lasi, and his brother Joe Fa’agata have been charged with second degree assault, a class D felony punishable up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both, following a fight that occurred last week in Fagatogo.
The defendants were initially charged with Public Peace Disturbance and the additional count was filed yesterday morning.
Court filings say that on Feb. 25, 2013 a man rushed to the police station reporting a fight. Police responded to the call and when they chased the defendants, it's alleged Joe tackled one of the police officers. The victim told police they were eating at the boat house in Fagatogo when Lasi approached them and challenged them to a fight.
Court filings say, Lasi left and returned with his brother Joe, who then threw beer bottles at them and started punching them.
The second victim corroborates the statement of the first victim. The second victim sustained multiple abrasions on his leg, a two centimeter laceration and bruises on his face and a laceration on his finger.
The pair are both held on bail of $5,000 and are both represented by the Public Defender’s office while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.
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