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Court Report

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COURT ORDERS ASG TO PAY $25,000 FOR FUNERAL COSTS

The American Samoa Government has issued a check in the amount of $25,000 following a court order on Tuesday to cover funeral costs for the owner of Pacific International Engineering, Warren Fisher.

Fisher was awarded $321,757 for breach of contract by ASG, who failed to pay for construction services provided by PIE in 2010.

Attorney for PIE, Mark Ude filed an aid of judgment motion to have the court grant part of the judgment, in order to assist Mrs. Siloi with her husband’s funeral.

Following the hearing on Tuesday, Associate Justice Lyle Richmond and Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr ordered the plaintiffs to provide a budget proposal for Mr. Fisher’s funeral.

Ude provided the proposed budget in the amount of $25,000 noting the plaintiff believed this amount should suffice for the plaintiff to provide the necessary expenses to give her husband a proper burial.

The budget proposal filed by Ude on Tuesday lists Church expenses (pastor, choir, decorations) $8,000; Casket $4,500; Funeral plot $5,000; Flowers $500; Uniforms, Suit and Programs $1,200; Airfare for brother $2,000; Tent Rentals $500; Labor for grave and materials $2,500; and, Morgue Fees $800.

Several hours later on the same day the trial division of the court ordered the government to pay the $25,000.

The order states upon the plaintiff’s motion for order in aid of judgment and for a good cause shown, the government will provide a check in the amount of $25,000 made payable to Pacific International Engineering, Ltd and to the law offices of Mark Frederick Ude on the close of business on Tuesday.

Ude told Samoa News he received the check at 4:02 p.m. on Tuesday. Fisher’s funeral is scheduled to be underway this Friday.

The judgment also included court costs, and post-judgment interest, to accrue at the statutory rate of 6 percent per year as of the entry date of the judgment, which was handed down in October 2010.

YOUNG BOYS CHARGED FOR ALLEGEDLY STONING A GIRL

The government has filed assault charges against three male juveniles on allegations they assaulted a 13-year old girl who was returning home from flag football practice.

Two of the three young boys, who are 14 years old, were picked up over the weekend, while the third juvenile, a 10- year old has yet to be arrested.

Assistant Attorney General Terrie Bullinger, who prosecutes juveniles, told Samoa News the incident occurred late in June. The boys are charged with second degree assault.

The juveniles made their initial appearances in the District Court yesterday morning.

According to the government’s case the girl was walking home, on a late afternoon and was crossing the stream in Pago Pago when the juveniles threw rocks at her.

It’s alleged one of the boys then proceeded to push the girl down twice, while the others continued to throw rocks at her. The government claims the victim made it home and police were then contacted and she was taken to the hospital.

The victim’s right leg tibia was broken and in addition she suffered a break in her left leg and had casts on both legs, from the thighs down to the ankles, for three weeks.

Assistant AG Bullinger told Samoa News this is an alarming case and the government had considered charging one of the boys as an adult. However, it has since decided not to go that route given the juvenile does not have any prior criminal record.

She explained that investigation is on continuing as to what prompted this incident.

Samoa News understands the juveniles involved in this matter have already apologized to the victim and her family.

The juveniles were released from the juvenile detention center following their initial appearance yesterday, with conditions set by District Court Judge John Ward.

The juveniles are placed on a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and if they are out at night they must be accompanied by a parent or an adult. They must remain law abiding citizens and must not contact the victim directly or indirectly. The juveniles are represented by Assistant Public Defender Donna Clement.

LEMATA VAIMALU FACES ASSAULT CHARGES AFTER A FIGHT

A man is facing second degree assault following a fight in Pago Pago last month.

Vaimalu Lameta who’s held on bail of $10,000 was arraigned in the High Court yesterday morning, after he waived his rights to a preliminary examination in the District Court on Tuesday.

The defendant upon his arraignment denied the charges against him.

The second degree assault is a class D felony punishable up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

According to the government’s case, on July 30, 2012 a man walked into the Central Police Station and reported he was allegedly assaulted by the defendant.

The complaining witness told police he was engaged in a basketball game with the defendant. It’s alleged the defendant told the victim they needed to talk, then the defendant punched the complaining witness in his face.

The government claims the complaining witness fell and the defendant continued to punch him, and then the complaining witness fought back.

The defendant told police that he asked the complaining witness if they could talk, however the complaining witness grabbed him, and they fought.

According to the government’s case the complaining witness was taken to the hospital where he was treated for a fractured jaw, a laceration above his left eyebrow, multiple scratches on his chest and a swollen jaw.

Pretrial conference for the defendant is scheduled for next month. The court filings did not specify what prompted the alleged fight.

DRUG DEFENDANT FOLASA GALEA’I AWAITS DISCOVERY FROM POLICE

Drug defendant Folasa Galea’i has been charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine with intent to distribute and unlawful possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, with intent to distribute. He is still awaiting the discovery report from police.

The defendant’s lawyer Sharron Rancourt asked the court for a continuance given that they are still waiting for more reports from the government.

Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond granted the request  and scheduled another pre-trial conference on September 8, 2012.

According to the government’s case, the defendant claimed a package, which was inspected by Customs Agents, and found to contain food stuff, including four cans of whole tomatoes, which they noticed were unusually lightweight.

The custom agents, after the K9 dogs were called in, opened the cans and what appeared to be illegal substances were found. The substances found in the package tested positive as methamphetamine and marijuana.

SOLOMONA ARU TO ENTER GUILTY PLEA TODAY

A fisherman facing charges of deviate sexual assault, sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child is scheduled to enter into a plea agreement with the government.

The matter will be held before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond and Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr. today. This plea is the result of ongoing negotiations during the time of pre-trial conferences that were continued on several occasions. Details of the plea agreement are not available until read in open court.

Aru is alleged to have attempted to rape a woman who was sleeping at home with her young child.

According to the government’s case the 41-year-old woman was sleeping with her eight-year-old child when she felt someone heavy on top of her. It is alleged that the defendant was touching her in a sexual manner.

The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White while prosecuting this matter is Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop.



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