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Burglary, assault case nets defendant 6 months in jail

reporters@samoanews.com

A 20-year old man who pled guilty to multiple criminal charges in connection with a store he burglarized and in the process assaulted the store clerk was sentenced to six months in jail.

Dean Liu of Mapusaga Fou was initially charged with robbery first degree, burglary first degree, assault third degree, resisting arrest, misdemeanor stealing, property damage third degree and underage drinking.

However Liu entered into a plea agreement with the government, pleading guilty to burglary second degree, stealing, property damage and third degree assault while the remaining charges were dismissed.

Liu apologized for his actions to the court, and to the victim, and noted that this will not be repeated. He also apologized to his mother who was present in the courtroom and said that this is the result of his disobedience.

He pleaded with the court for a chance to return home and care for his mother, saying that it’s just the two of them in their small family. “I wish to return home to help my mom, do chores for her and do whatever she needs as what I should be doing now.”

The defendant revealed his father has died and his mother is by herself at home. He added the Tafuna Correctional Facility is not a good place for him, because he cannot sleep or eat well there.

The mother also took the stand and in tears, pleaded with the court to allow her son to return home to her, saying that she will look after him and be stricter on her son.

Addressing the court, Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cardin said the defendant is a very young man who was drunk and he made a stupid mistake which landed him in jail.

Cardin noted the defendant is a first time offender, and very young, and there is still room for him to make amends. She also said that he needs to attain a job. The Assistant PD asked the court to place the defendant on probation. She added the defendant had already served more than 80 days in jail and this was a huge lesson for him while incarcerated.

Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde said the government is asking the defendant abstain from consuming alcohol even after he turns 21 years of age, and refrain from going to the store where the incident occurred.

Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond who was accompanied on the bench by Associate Judge Mamea Sala sentenced the defendant to one year for third degree assault, one year for stealing, six months for property damage and five years for second degree burglary, which totals seven years and six months.

However execution of sentencing was suspended and defendant placed on probation for five years under certain conditions. Those conditions are that he serve six months in jail, pay a fine of $1,000, pay restitution of $515 and must not consume alcohol while on probation.

Other conditions of probation include that Liu cannot go into the store involved in this matter, he cannot congregate with those who are under the influence of alcohol, cannot enter any bars and taverns and will be subject to random testing for alcohol in his system.

According to court fillings Niu was trying to buy beer around 1:00 a.m., however, the victim refused, given that it’s illegal to sell alcohol after 10 p.m. From the refusal, the incident allegedly developed into a burglary and assault case that included a police officer being punched in the face while Niu continued to resist arrest.

A witness near the incident gave police the names of the culprits involved and the video surveillance was also taken in by police as evidence in this matter.



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