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Court rejects plea agreement for two defendants in brutal beating death

Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond was accompanied on the bench by Associate Judges Mamea Sala Jr and Muasau Tasina Tofili when the court rejected the plea agreement in the government’s case against two of the three defendants charged in the brutal beating death of Sio Faumui last year June.

The two defendants, Nemaia Poamo and Migo Misa, are facing second degree murder charges along with Sefo Siaulaiga, the third defendant in this case, whose jury trial is scheduled for next year. The three defendants are charged separately, however during the pre-trial conference period, the government moved to consolidate the three cases, with all three defendants objecting to the motion. The court has yet to rule on the motion.

This case was continued on several occasions after the plea was filed with the court. The plea agreement between the government and the two defendants would have the pair enter a guilty plea to assault, second degree which would be amended from the murder charge.

Richmond denied the motion, noting that all three defendants were involved in the alleged beating. Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop informed the court that she has already handed over a new plea agreement to the parties in this case, which they feel would be acceptable to the court.

Assistant Public Defenders White and Cardin informed the court that they concur with the statement by the Deputy AG that this plea would be acceptable to the court and they would have it filed with the court once it is signed by the defendants.

Jessop added that she has also informed David Vargas, the third defendant’s lawyer about the plea and Vargas said that he would recommend that his client, Sefo Siaulaiga take this plea agreement.

The Deputy AG also informed the court that one of the assistant Public Defenders in this case is leaving on Thursday, and asked if they could hold the plea hearing for all three cases that day.

Richmond granted the motion and scheduled the change of plea hearing for Siaulaiga, Poamo and Misa to this coming Thursday.

The government alleges that Siaulaiga, Misa and Poamo assaulted Faumui of Iliili with their hands and left him lying unconscious about 15-feet from the main road in Malaeimi.

It’s alleged that Poamo and Siaulaiga further beat the victim with rocks and Misa used a beer bottle to strike Faumui’s face.

According to the government’s case, Poamo and Migo also punched and kicked Faumui at least 15 to 20 times and Faumui suffered multiple facial injuries. All three have admitted to police that they assaulted Faumui, according to court affidavits.