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Court Report



Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond, Associate Judges Mamea Sala Jr and Muasau Tasina Tofili were lenient when handing down sentencing for a woman who stole a credit card to purchase airline tickets.


Chellete Foster Metuli was charged with two counts of stealing and two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card. However the plea agreement has it that Metuli will enter a guilty plea to one count of stealing and one count of fraudulent use of a credit card, while the other stealing and fraudulent use counts will be dismissed.


Metuli pleaded with the court for leniency given that she has a six-month-old baby, her mother is sick and there is no one to care of her baby. She further apologized to the court, the government, her family and the victims in this matter. “This has hurt so many people and I’m really sorry,” she told the court.


Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cardin recommended that the court take into consideration that the defendant has a clean record and has a minor child, and also that this was a terrible mistake.


Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde did not make any recommendations.


Richmond noted that they believe this incident was out of character and warned the defendant to be a law abiding citizen and that the court was giving her a big break.


Metuli was sentenced to three years in jail for each count, to be served concurrently, however execution of sentence was suspended and the defendant placed on probation for three years under certain conditions. The defendant was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 and it is to be paid within three months.


According to the government’s case a woman walked into the police station on Aug. 29, 2012 to report that her credit card had been stolen and used to purchase two Hawaiian Air tickets. 


The victim told police that on Aug. 28, 2012, she noticed the two fraudulent purchases on her bank account for the purchase of the airline tickets and she notified Bank of Hawaii to dispute the transactions. 


The victim said she also approached Metuli who allegedly admitted that she took the victim’s credit card information out of the victim’s wallet, which the victim had left on her desk. Police interviewed Metuli, who said she used the victim’s card after $1,500, which had been given to her by a friend to purchase airline tickets ,was stolen out of her bag at work.




Oge Vaisagote of Lauli’i made his initial appearance in the District court yesterday on felony charges of rape, deviate sexual assault, and sexual abuse, and a misdemeanor charge of endangering the welfare of a child.


He is being held on bail of $20,000 and is represented by Acting Public Defender, Douglas Fiaui, while prosecuting is Chief Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.


The charges were launched after the police were informed that the 15-year-old victim engaged in sexual intercourse with the 22-year-old. Court filings say the victim told police the defendant took her to his residence in Lauli’i where they had sex in December 2012.


The defendant corroborated the victim’s side of the story and said he was aware the victim was 15 years of age, but he was not aware that having sexual relations with a girl under the age of 16-years was against the law.




The High Court has granted early release for Siua Sausaulele, whom they had labeled as a “Vicious Attacker”. Sausaulele was sentenced to jail for 20 months after he attacked a woman when she refused his sexual advances, however after serving a few months in jail, Sausaulele asked the court to modify his sentence.


Presiding over the hearing yesterday morning was Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond, who was accompanied by Associate Judge Mamea Sala. During his probation review the defendant’s lawyer informed the court that they agreed with recommendations made by the Probation Officer for early release for the defendant.


Deputy Attorney General Mitzie Jessop noted that the government will trust the judgment call made by the probation office in this case to release the defendant from jail.


Richmond warned the defendant that the court was giving him a big break and he should not mess up the opportunity. When Sausaulele was sentenced in March the prosecutor presented the court with a photo of the victim the night the incident happened.


The photo had the victim crying, with a huge laceration on her forehead which required eight stitches. The Deputy AG said on the night in question there was a party and alcohol was involved.


“The victim was looking for a ride to go to a relative’s house when the defendant voluntarily offered to drop the victim off. Instead of going to the home of the victim’s relative, the defendant drove to the M&O strip, where he made sexual advances on the victim; when she refused —this was the outcome said Folau, referring to the photo. “The defendant took it very badly and instead attacked her.”


Associate Justice Richmond agreed that this was an isolated case and it was out of character, also saying that what the defendant did was a vicious attack. Sausaulele was sentenced to five years in jail however sentence was suspended and the defendant was placed on five years probation under the following conditions: that he serve 20 months in jail, remain a law abiding citizen, pay restitution, undergo and complete Alcohol Counseling, undergo and complete Anger Management Counseling, not consume any alcohol, nor congregate with anyone who drinks alcohol.


The defendant is also subject to random testing of alcohol and probation officers and police officers can carry out a random search of his vehicle, home and properties for suspicion of illegal drugs or alcohol. He was also ordered not to leave the territory unless authorized by the court.




Ernie Tao, facing charges of second degree assault on allegations that he assaulted his girlfriend, has signed  a plea agreement with the government. The 23- year-old from Faleniu who remains in jail on bail of $10,000 is represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White, while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Julie Pasquale.


Both parties informed the court that the defendant has signed the plea deal, however the documents have yet to be filed with the court and asked for a brief continuance.


Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the request and set this matter for a plea hearing on March 11, 2013. According to the government’s case, police received a call from a security guard at the Bowling Alley regarding an assault in the parking lot Tuesday evening.


It’s alleged the defendant punched and kicked his girlfriend in the back and on the head and then he struck the victim on the head with a rock. The government claims the defendant was also assaulted by two men, who saw him beating up his girlfriend.