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Court Report

MIKA A’ASA JAILED IN ASSAULT CASEA man convicted in an assault case has been jailed for 20 months as a condition of his five year sentence. Mika A’asa pleaded guilty to second degree assault while the public peace disturbance was dismissed. The defendant apologized for his actions to the court, the government, his family and the victim noting his remorse for his actions. Chief Justice Michael Kruse sentenced A'asa to five years in jail, however execution of sentence was suspended and he was placed on five year’s probation under certain conditions. The defendant was ordered to serve 20 months in jail without any release whatsoever, unless ordered by the court or for genuine medical release. The Chief Justice however pointed out that the defendant would only serve six months in jail while the balance of his incarceration will be stayed if he can attain a job within 30 days, if not, then he will serve his 20 months.The defendant is also fined $1,000 and ordered to attend anger management classes. He cannot consume alcohol or illegal substance and cannot congregate with those under the influence of alcohol. Kruse noted the defendant will be subject to random testing of alcohol or drugs.According to the plea agreement that was read in court, the defendant admits that he threw a rock which hit the victim. According to the government’s case, police received a call regarding a public peace disturbance in Petesa, and when they responded, they found the victim lying on top of a grave in front of his house. ROMA FANENE CHARGED IN ASSAULT CASE FROM LAST AUGUSTAn alleged assault that occurred last year in Malaeimi led to the arrest of Roma Fanene who’s being held on bail of $10,000. The defendant is charged with second degree assault, a class D felony punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of $5,000 or both and public peace disturbance, a class B misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for six months, a fine of $500 or both.According to the government’s case on Aug. 6, 2012 a woman walked into the Tafuna Police Station to report that her son was being harassed and was nearly hit by a car driven by the defendant. The victim told police he was in front of the market in the village of Malaeimi with his cousin and he was approached by Fanene who was driving a vehicle.It’s alleged the defendant started yelling at the victim asking him what he was sniffing, and telling him to come sniff his behind.Court filings say the victim claims he does not know Fanene, but knows that they reside in the same area. The victim further claims that he has not had any prior issues with the defendant and did not know why the defendant was bothering him on that day. The victim said when the defendant was yelling at him and teasing him, he told Fanene to leave him alone.It’s alleged the victim told the defendant he did not want any trouble and attempted to walk away from the defendant. The government claims the victim and his cousin then walked away from the market area in the direction of their home, when the defendant, who was driving, nearly hit them with his vehicle.The victim said he and his cousin had to jump out of the way to avoid getting hit by defendant’s vehicle. It’s alleged that Fanene then stopped his vehicle and asked the victim whether he was “playing around with him”.The victim again told the defendant that he did not want any trouble. It’s alleged the defendant then exited his vehicle and held up a beer bottle and a can of corned beef as if he was going to throw it at to the victim and his cousin, and the pair took off running. As they were running off, the defendant continued to yell at the victim and his cousin that they were not allowed to walk in front of his house, then the defendant got back into his vehicle.Court filings say that, later the defendant’s younger brother also approached the victim and his cousin with a beer bottle. The victim said he believes the dispute may be related to an ongoing land dispute though he says he has never had any issues personally with defendant in the past. Police also spoke to the victim’s cousin and his story corroborated with the statement given by the victim.DEFENDANT TO BE SENTENCED IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASEA man charged with third degree assault, a felony, after two prior convictions of assaulting his wife has entered into a plea agreement with the government. The defendant, whose name cannot be published to protect the identity of the victim, was charged for the third time, while on probation for two convictions of third degree assault, on domestic violence. The defendant, who remains in jail on bail of $20,000, pleaded guilty to the third degree assault involving domestic violence last week.According to the government after pleading guilty to a crime involving Domestic Violence within the past five (5) years and committing it again is a violation of ASCA 47.0102 (2) a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to five (5) years, a fine of up to $5,000 but not less than $150.Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement in this case and scheduled sentencing in this matter on Feb. 11, 2013. According to the government’s case, the victim contacted police saying that her husband had assaulted her on July 31, 2012. Police responded to the defendant’s home in Nu’uuli, where the victim said the defendant hit her repeatedly, threw her clothes out of the home, and continued to hit her.She added that the defendant slapped her face and cheek several times. The wife further told police that her brother attempted to to help her, but the defendant threatened to shoot her brother if he interfered.According to the government’s case the victim told police that her husband has assaulted her numerous times, and she believes that one of those assaults resulted in her miscarriage in June 2012, when she was five or six months pregnant with the defendant’s child.The victim’s brother told police his sister called him twice while she was crying and asked him to help get her out of her house, however the defendant repeatedly told the brother not to come or he would shoot him.According to the government’s case the defendant pled guilty to third degree assault for assaulting his wife on March 20, 2012. He was convicted a second time for third degree assault, to which he pled guilty on July 26, 2012.