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Court News

Drug defendant Jarrell Randall, whose home in Nu'uuli was raided by police early this year, was sentenced last Friday to 20 months imprisonment, which is part of his 5 years probation.However, the court stayed all but 9 months in jail, which resulted in Randall being released last Friday since he has been in custody for nine months following his arrest. Randall was also ordered to pay a $2,000 fine.He was further ordered to undergo and complete drug and alcohol counseling. He is subject to random searches as well as drug and alcohol testing to ensure that he complies with all conditions of his probation, which include not being involved in alcohol or drugs.Randall was initially charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, but under a plea agreement with the government he pled guilty to an amended charge of possessing a small amount of methamphetamine, a crime punishable by up to 5 years in jail or a fine of not more than $5,000.During sentencing Randall apologized to the court for the crime he committed and asked for leniency from the court. He also apologized to his family for the crime that has tarnished the family's name. He promised never to commit such crime again.His attorney Public Defender Ruth Risch-Fuatagavi requested a probative sentence, which would allow the defendant to return home to assist his family, especially his mother. However, the government was completely opposed to a probative sentence, and Assistant Attorney General Mitzie Jessop Folau argued that the court should impose some jail time.Folau said Randall made the decision to possess methamphetamine and therefore a jail term would be needed because of his crime. She recalled for the court that in 1995 the defendant had been charged with possession of illegal drugs-but the defendant is again asking for another chance and should not be given another chance, she stated.POLICE OFFICER CHARGED WITH HARASSMENTThe government has amended a public peace disturbance charge to harassment in the case of a police officer who was taken into custody more than a week ago for allegedly threatening his wife.Samoa News does not identify the defendant by name in these domestic cases to protect the victim. Court information revealed that the police officer has a similar case that has been transmitted to the Attorney General's Office for review and possible prosecution.The amended charge was made last Friday when the defendant appeared for another District Court hearing. The officer has been released on his own recognizance and the court has ordered that he not make any contact with his wife.He is also prohibited from maintaining any dangerous weapon such as a gun and if he had a gun in his possession the defendant was turn it into the police. His next court appearance is set for early December.According to a police affidavit, the complaining witness contacted the Tafuna police substation saying that her husband had threatened to shoot her after she called him to ask the whereabouts of the ATM card that had been inside her wallet, which was inside her car.She said the husband stated that he did not have it and she asked another question- to which her husband replied, \I will come there and shoot you