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Court Report



A repeat offender in a land dispute case, Lufilufi Peneueta, was found guilty of Public Peace Disturbance following a bench trial last week before District Court Judge Elvis Patea. Peneueta was charged following a land dispute in Faleniu, where she was facing one count of public peace disturbance, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.


During the sentencing Lufilufi apologized to the court and to her relative, the complaining witness, for her actions. Assistant Attorney General Lornalei Meredith-Fanene recommended that the court place the defendant on 24 months probation, with 45 days incarceration.  


District Court Judge Patea noted the defendant has other records with the court for disturbing the peace — in 2006 and 2009. He placed Lufilufi on 24 months probation, and sentenced her to jail for 20 days, however he deferred the jail time and warned her that if she does not comply she will be jailed. Lufilufi was also fined $500, however $300 was deferred and she’s to pay $200 and $25 in court fees for a total of $225.


The defendant was ordered to remain a law abiding citizen and undergo anger management courses. Judge Patea re-emphasized to Lufilufi that she must keep the peace and remain a law abiding citizen.


According to the government’s case all four defendants went to the victim’s house in Faleniu with a notice to evict the family while the victim and her family were having a yard sale on their front lawn. 


Court filings state that Lufilufi went straight to the victim’s mother approaching her in a threatening manner. Police were contacted for assistance and upon arriving at the scene; the police questioned the victim who claimed she was assaulted by Lufilufi.


Court filings state that the victim informed the police, the defendant attempted to enter their home, and Lufilufi grabbed her by the back of her neck and pushed her away from the door.




District Court Judge Elvis Patea bound over the second drug case against Colin Bode following a preliminary examination hearing yesterday.


Bode is charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance of methamphetamine. In the first drug case, he faces unlawful possession of marijuana.  


He was released out on bail of $20,000 for the marijuana charge, and was also released on bail of $40,000 for the methamphetamine charge. The unlawful possession of methamphetamine is a felony punishable from five to 10 years in jail, a fine of $5,000 to $20,000 or both.


According to the government’s case, on Mar. 11, 2013 the Vice and Narcotics Division with the Department of Public Safety received a call from Customs Chief Lefiti Glen requesting Captain Paulo Leuma to come over with a methamphetamine test.


Upon arriving at the Customs Office, Lefiti immediately informed police that another customs agent had briefed him earlier. The agent said that she had visited her relative, Tolupo Hodges, who is incarcerated at TCF, also on drug charges.


The  customs agent's relative told Customs that in addition to the marijuana which the police had confiscated, there was also methamphetamine, which they had not found.


The female customs agent proceeded to the airport, and later called Lefiti via telephone, saying she had found something in a cardboard box with their Custom Inspection tapes.


During closing arguments Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde informed the court that it’s too much of a coincidence the defendant was in the same room where the methamphetamine was found. Hyde said, the statement the defendant provided to the other inmate where he discarded the meth and when customs looked for it, it was found the same place where he said it would be.


Bode’s counsel Mark Ude informed the court that there is no direct evidence that his client placed the drugs there, also there was no eyewitness that saw the defendant placing the drugs in an office, which many customs agents had access to.


Judge Patea noted the government has probable cause that a crime was committed and bound the matter over to High Court.


In the first drug case against the defendant, court filings say Bode was waiting in line to present his passport when customs K9 'Jordan' alerted near him. Court records say he was taken out of the line into a room where he was searched and two baggies of marijuana were found inside his pants. Police then took over the case and proceeded with Bode to the police station where he was advised of his rights. 




Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe informed Chief Justice Michael Kruse that they are close to resolving the case of Ryan Pite with a plea agreement and requested a continuance in this case.


Pite who’s already serving jail time for a spree of burglaries, is accused of stabbing another inmate with a metal object, following an argument between the two. He’s facing first degree assault, a class A felony punishable by death, life imprisonment or a minimum of ten years incarceration.


Kruse accepted the government’s request and rescheduled this case for a possible plea hearing on May 28, 2013.


According to the government’s case, a TCF officer was giving out medication to the inmates when he heard a commotion coming from the cell where Pite was held. The officer ran over to the Bravo Unit and saw the wounded inmate on the floor, while another inmate was holding Pite back. The officers were told that Pite had stabbed the wounded inmate.


Court filings say the wounded inmate was taken to LBJ hospital where he was hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit for three days.