MAN WHO PLED GUILTY IN MIDDLE OF JURY TRIAL SENTENCED TO TIME SERVED
Tala Maluseu who fought his case in High Court before members of a jury and then pled guilty to a misdemeanor in a plea agreement with the government was sentenced to time served. The government had initially charged Maluseu on allegations he had strangled, shaken and abandoned his one-year-old daughter on several occasions.
He was facing first degree assault, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, however in the middle of his jury trial, he pled guilty to endangering the welfare of a child while the remaining charges were dismissed. The defendant, who had been in jail for a lengthy period of time, was released from prison yesterday.
According to the government’s case, police and Social Services responded to a call regarding possible child abandonment in which the police report stated the landlord, who contacted Child Protective Services workers, told police the baby was left beginning about 10a.m., and her parents would come back to the house shortly to check in on her.
The landlord proceeded to say the parents then would leave the house again, leaving the baby unattended and this prompted him to contact Social Services for help, because the baby had been home alone a while and was crying loudly, causing great concern to the landlord.
During the trial, the landlord testified she did not say anything to police about the defendant leaving the baby unattended for a long period of time.
FAASEGA MOANANU ENTERS GUILTY PLEA
A man accused of striking another man with a PVC pipe has entered into a plea agreement with the government and is scheduled to be sentenced next month. The defendant has pled guilty to second degree assault, and is represented by Public Defender Douglas Fiaui.
Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement. Court filings say the victim told police he was giving the defendant’s son a haircut after which he took a nap. Upon waking up the victim noticed that the defendant’s son had cut his hair while he was asleep, so he slapped the defendant’s son.
_It’s alleged the victim was trying to explain why he slapped the boy to the defendant, however the defendant attempted to choke the victim, at least three times.
Court filings say, the victim kept apologizing yet the defendant allegedly grabbed a long metal object and struck the victim on his left arm seven times and also struck the victim on the head, and the victim became unconscious. It's reported that police found the weapon allegedly used in the incident.
Court filings say people in the area witnessed the incident taking place.
DEFENDANT IN DOG BITE CASE SENTENCED TO PROBATION
Chief Justice Michael Kruse has sentenced Mara Safuifatu to six months probation in connection with a dog bite case. The defendant was initially facing one count of possession of a vicious animal, a felony, but in the plea agreement, she pled guilty to the misdemeanor count of possession of a vicious animal as amended from the original charge.
Kruse also ordered the defendant to pay restitution for the medical bill which the victim sustained from the incident in the amount of $85.
According to the government’s case, police were responding to a call in Taputimu, however after said call, police saw a boy limping and police assisted the victim. Court filings say the victim sustained four lacerations on his ankle, one of them requiring five stitches. The next day, the lead investigator, Detective Alicia Nellie Godinet, returned to Taputimu seeking the owner of the dog that attacked the victim.
Safuifatu is noted in the court filings saying she was shocked when the dog bit the victim because the dog is always friendly and usually plays with the kids, including the victim. A witness told police, her brother was fighting with another man when the dog jumped out of nowhere and bit the victim on his leg.
PLEA NEGOTIATIONS IN CASE AGAINST FUALAAU TUUA
The government and defense are negotiating a resolution in the case of a woman charged on allegations of forgery and stealing. Fualaau Tuua is being charged based on allegations she stole a check, and then forged and cashed it. During her pre-trial conference in the High Court, both attorneys informed the court that more time is needed to resolve this matter, whether it be a plea or otherwise.
According to the government’s case, on November 2, 2012 the head of security at the American Samoa Community College contacted DPS alleging the defendant had stolen a check from the business office and cashed it at a store in Nu’uuli.
Court filings note that the owner of the store went to the ASCC Business Office with a copy of the expired check that was cashed at his store and arrangements were made for a new check to be issued; however, during the process of issuing the new check, it was revealed that the check was never picked up by the person who the check was made out to — the payee.
The actual owner of the check along with an employee of the ASCC Business Office went to the store to see footage of the person who cashed the check. The defendant turned out to be a college student working in the Business Office at the time.
According to the store owner, the defendant paid $500 after she learned that the Business Office had found out about what she had done. Court filings do not state the exact amount of the check in question. Chief Justice Michael Kruse has rescheduled this matter for another pre-trial conference next month.
THE NEW COMMENTS PROCESS
To make comments, you will need to register. You can register under your real name or use a 'screen' name. This way, people will be able to follow comments and make comments back and forth to each other. If you choose to use a 'screen name' no one will know your true identity. In either case, no email addresses will be available to anyone. It is an automated process. If you have questions, email: email@example.com
You currently are not logged in, please LOGIN to post comments.