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“Partying” inmate receives straight 5-year sentence

joy@samoanews.com

An inmate who escaped from the Tafuna Correctional Facility (TCF) and was caught partying with his girlfriend at the Bowling Alley Bar two months ago was sentenced to serve a straight five year sentence. The inmate, Joseph Mamona pleaded guilty to escaping from confinement, Public Peace Disturbance and resisting arrest.
 
His girlfriend was also charged in the District Court with a misdemeanor in connection with this case.
 
Mamona told the court that he was upset with the Parole Board for denying his request for parole that led him run away from jail, so this could attract the attention of the Parole Board.
 
However, he said when he escaped from jail and was caught by the police officers, it dawned on him that his actions would only add to the burden he's already carrying. Mamona apologized for his actions and pleaded with the court for a second chance to return home and care for his parents.
 
He pleaded to Chief Justice Michael Kruse that he's tired of being a prisoner inside the jail and for the court to be lenient with his sentencing.
 
Assistant Public Defender Michael White said Mamona's actions of escaping from incarceration when his parole request was denied was not right, because if anything this would add jail time and asked the court for leniency for his client.
 
Prosecutor Tiffany Oldsfield told the court this is the second time that Mamona has escaped from jail, and it appears that he has not learned a lesson from the chances the court has given him in the past.
 
She stated that for the previous escape (in 2010), Mamona received an additional six months, which included resisting arrest. She also pointed out that not only did the defendant escape from jail to celebrate his girlfriend's birthday he resisted the police who were trying to arrest him. Oldsfield asked the court to sentence Mamona to five years in jail.
 
Kruse sentenced the defendant to five years in jail and this sentencing will be served after his current sentencing in the previous escape.
 
According to court filings, police officers were outside of the Bowling Alley, when they were approached by the Bar’s security informing them an inmate was inside the club. 
 The security officer further told police they had already contacted the TCF, which confirmed Mamona was an inmate. When police went inside the club, Mamona had already left and police were told he was hiding somewhere in the parking lot. The officers searched the parking lot and found him inside one of the parked vehicles, in the passenger seat.
 
Court filings say the inmate was then arrested, however he was making "tumultuous" behavior and swearing at the police officers.
 
The affidavit supports the criminal charges against the girlfriend, Toilolo, saying she gave Mamona’s brother a cell phone and that’s how they were able to communicate. It's alleged when Mamona climbed the fence surrounding the jail, he was picked up by his girlfriend not far from the jail and they headed straight to the bar.



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