TUNU LUKI JR. FACING DOH BURGLARY CHARGES
The government has charged Tunu Luki Jr. of breaking into the Department of Health offices in Faga’alu in October last year. He is held on bail of $25,000 and made his initial appearance in the District Court last Friday. He’s charged with first degree burglary and felony stealing.
The burglary count is a class B felony punishable by five to fifteen years imprisonment while the stealing count is a class C felony punishable by imprisonment for up to seven years, a fine of up to $5,000, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000 or both fine and imprisonment.
The defendant is represented by Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.
According to the government’s case, on Oct. 16, 2012 an employee of the Department of Health stopped by her office with her husband and as they walked into the office it’s alleged they saw a young man sitting at one of the office computers.
Court filings say, the employee asked what the young man was doing there and he said his mother worked there and he was waiting for her to get back from the store.
It’s alleged the employee and her husband attempted to stop the defendant, but he pushed past them and ran out the door. The young man was described as wearing no shirt and red shorts.
Officers who responded to the initial call said a teenager at the bus stop near the DOH told them that “Luki” was running from the Department of Public Health wearing no shirt and red shorts. According to the teenager, Luki lived in Matu’u behind Tokyo Sushi.
The victim reported that she was missing a platinum wedding ring, a blue sapphire ring, an oval gold ring and an iPod charger and earphones. Officers proceeded to locate the defendant and when they apprehended him they took him to the Central Police Station where the defendant emptied his pocket and pulled out a platinum ring, a blue sapphire ring and an oval gold ring.
It’s alleged the police obtained the defendant’s personal information and released him. One month later, police interviewed the defendant who allegedly admitted that he broke into the Public Health Office three times.
Police said they drove the defendant to the area of the Public Health Office and had him identify which offices he had broken into. One of the offices was the victim’s office.
It’s alleged the defendant said he broke into that office the day the couple found him and the day he stole items from the office.
He told police that he decided to walk from Matu’u to Faga’alu to break into the Public Health office and found a door that was open, and went inside.
ASG FILES FELONY CHARGES AGAINST XAVIER RODRIGUEZ
The government has charged Xavier Rodriguez with first degree burglary, a class D felony, which is punishable from five to 15 years in jail, and stealing- a class C felony — which carries a jail term of up to seven years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
The felony charges against the defendant stem from an alleged burglary in Mesepa, and are in addition to a public peace disturbance count against him. A second suspect in this case is still at large.
The defendant is set to have his preliminary examination hearing later this week. District Court Judge John Ward informed the defendant that this hearing is for the court to determine whether the government has sufficient evidence to have this case bound over to the High Court for other court proceedings or disposition.
According to the government’s case, the victim contacted police for assistance, regarding his store when it was allegedly broken into and the defendant, along with another suspect (who’s still at large) were caught on the store’s video tape.
ASSAULT CASE RESOLVES IN PLEA AGREEMENT
A plea agreement has been reached between the government and Utu Feo a woman accused of assaulting her niece with a pipe last year. Feo, who is out on bail of $5,000 is scheduled to have her plea agreement hearing later this week. Her case was set to be heard last Friday however there was no quorum, given that one of the judges who presides over this case was attending other matters.
Feo is facing a PPD and one count of second degree assault — a class D felony which carries a jail term of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both fine and jail term, while the PPD count is a class C misdemeanor and is punishable with up to 15 days in jail, a fine of up to $300 or both.
According to the government’s case, on Nov. 16, 2011 police received a call from a 19-year old girl claiming that she was assaulted by her aunt with a pipe.
The alleged incident occurred in Aua where the defendant resides.
The girl told police that she ran away from home on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 and did not return home because she was scared that she would get beaten again.
“She has been wanting to go back to her parents in Samoa but she does not have traveling documents,” according to court filings.
The girl told police that the defendant had beaten her with a pipe because when her aunt asked her if she wanted to stay with them, she said no.
Police spoke with the defendant who admitted to beating the victim with a pipe because the victim had run away from home for four days. The defendant told police that she knows what she did was wrong. Details of the plea agreement offered by the government are yet to be revealed.