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Court Report

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INMATE CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING ANOTHER INMATE
 
Inmate Keith Talosaga — accused of assaulting another inmate — has been charged with second degree assault and private peace disturbance, and he appeared in court on Monday. The incident came to light when the victim inmate launched a complaint against Talosaga with the Warden on September 16, 2013.
 
Court filings say that Talosaga and another inmate, Sam Tupuola, went to the victim’s cell regarding money that he (the victim) owed, however the victim did not have the money. It’s alleged Talosaga became upset and punched the victim in the face and allegedly stabbed the victim in the neck with a piece of metal wire from the cell, which was wrapped around Talosaga’s fist.
 
Court filings say that the victim suffered a small puncture wound that caused the victim to experience blurry vision and dizziness on the day of the incident. The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment. Police Officer Fetaui Moeoge was assigned to investigate the case and she spoke to other inmates who were housed with the victim.
 
One witness told police that Talosaga had gone to the victim’s cell where the witness allegedly told him to leave and Talosaga left. However, when the victim went to apologize to Talosaga, the victim returned with a bloody nose.
 
Police spoke to Talosaga, who stated he beat up the victim because the victim had not paid him the money that he owed him.
 
Talosaga said when Tupuola asked the victim for his money, the victim treated it as if it was a joke and the victim swore at him and that’s when he punched the victim.
 
Samoa News points out this is the same victim who’s also launched a complaint against a police officer, who has since been served with a three-day notice to answer to the Police Commissioner on allegations of police brutality.
 
PREGNANT WOMAN CHARGED IN ASSAULT
 
A woman, who’s eight months pregnant, came before the High Court for sentencing in an assault case, however new information was rendered before the court, which led to the postponement of the sentence hearing.
 
Etevise Tomasi — who has been in jail since the incident occurred — had pled guilty to second degree assault as a result of throwing a glass at another woman in a night club. The glass had landed on the victim’s face.
 
Assistant Attorney General Julie Pasquale told the court the defendant should be jailed with the maximum allowable under the law because of her violent history. The prosecutor said that Tomasi had thrown a glass twice at the victim, and the victim’s face is permanently scarred.
 
Pasquale said there were 17 stitches as a result of this violent attack and the victim will be heading to Hawai’i seeking plastic surgery due to the severity of the scars on her face.
 
She further pointed out that the defendant, and her co-defendant Shary Mua ganged up on the victim without a reason. Mua had since been sentenced to probation, although she was charged with first degree assault.  In a plea deal with the government, Mua pled guilty to third degree assault, which was amended from the felony assault charge.
 
Pasquale further stated Tomasi was in court back in 2009 for a Public Peace Disturbance, where Tomasi had thrown a beer bottle at another girl, but had missed.
 
In 2010 Tomasi was also arrested and charged for throwing an object at another girl in a drinking session at a hotel, however the victim refused to testify in that case and in 2011, the defendant was again charged with disturbing the public peace.
 
Pasquale said the government believes wholeheartedly that Tomasi is a violent woman and a threat to society. Tomasi’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender, Joel Shiver objected, saying the government does not have evidence to support these allegations.
 
During sentencing the defendant apologized for her actions and said that her incarceration has taught her a lesson. She asked the court for a chance to return home to her husband and children. Tomasi’s mother also pleaded with the court to release her daughter from jail, saying she’s needed at home because she has children.
 
Shiver asked the court to consider that the defendant is eight months pregnant and she’s much needed by her family. Chief Justice Michael Kruse postponed sentencing and ordered the probation office to look into the information rendered by the prosecutor. Sentencing for Tomasi has been rescheduled for January 17, 2014.
 
Court filings say that Tomasi and her codefendant Mua were dancing in front of the table where the victim was sitting and when the victim was about to move away from where she was sitting, Tomasi intentionally bumped into the victim, causing the victim to fall over on the speaker inside the club.
 
The victim turned around and argued with Mua when Etevise grabbed a glass and threw it at the victim, which landed on her face. Court filings say Etevise then grabbed another glass and threw it at the victim, which landed on her face again. The victim suffered five deep cuts on the left side of her face, which required 17 stitches and the victim also sustained a fractured nose.
 
DEFENDANT ENTERS GUITLY PLEA IN DRUG CASE
 
Folasa Galea’i will be sentenced next year January after accepting a plea agreement with the government in a drug case. Galea’i was initially 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.
 
However in a plea deal with the government, Galea’i pled guilty to conspiracy to commit the offense of unlawful possession, a misdemeanor which was amended from one of the felony charges, while the other count was dismissed. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement in this case.
 
According to the government’s case, the defendant claimed a package which was inspected by Customs Agents, and was alleged to contain food stuff, including four cans of whole tomatoes, which agents found (with the help of K9 dogs) to contain what appeared to be illegal substances. The substances found in the package tested positive for methamphetamine and marijuana.



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