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Court Report



A man accused of taking three dollars from a 14-year-old's pocket, and who pled guilty to attempted-stealing, was released from jail on Tuesday after serving 322 days — over one year — behind bars.


The government first charged Kennedy Sasala with second-degree robbery, misdemeanor stealing and public peace disturbance, but in a plea agreement with the government he pled guilty to attempted stealing, which was amended from second-degree robbery, while the remaining charges were dismissed.


Sasala apologized for violating the law and asked the court for a second chance. Defense Counsel had agreed with Prosecutor Julie Pasquale to place the defendant on probation on condition that Sasala not consume any alcohol while on probation.


However, Pasquale asked the court to have Sasala remain in custody until this holiday season is over, saying there would be a lot of temptation for Sasala to consume alcohol during the holidays. 


Chief Justice Michael Kruse sentenced the defendant to five years in jail however the sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for five years under certain conditions.


Kruse said the victim was given $30 from his mother to purchase a speaker, however when the victim reached a store in Faga’alu the defendant asked the victim if he had any money, and the victim replied 'no'.  According to the case, Sasala then reached into the victim's pocket and took out $3.00, putting the rest back into the victim’s pocket. The victim ran back home and told his mother what had happened. His mother then contacted the police for assistance.


Sasala was ordered not to consume alcohol, nor congregate with people who were drinking alcohol and he’s also ordered not to enter into bars or taverns and must remain a law-abiding citizen.  




A man whose been convicted twice before the court for burglary incidents was sentenced to serve 28 months in the latest case against him. Taligalu Ah Siu of Vaitogi in this latest case is accused of unlawfully entering a home and removing a gas tank. He was initially charged with second-degree burglary, attempted burglary and stealing.


However, in a plea deal with the government, Ah Siu pled guilty to the burglary counts while the remaining charge was dismissed. Last month when this matter was first brought before the court for sentencing, the defendant pleaded with the court for a second chance so he can complete his education and search for employment, so he can render care for his mother and family. 


Ah Siu apologized to the court for violating his probation and also sought forgiveness from the victim in this latest case.


Kruse prior to sentencing said the defendant needs help and he must undergo counseling. He said that part of the problem is that he uses the gas tank to sniff gas. Kruse further said, if the defendant is jailed for seven years, he will not sniff gas anymore and he would not be in trouble anymore with the law. However, if he’s released from jail he will have the opportunity to undergo the counseling and help that he needs.


Kruse sentenced the defendant to seven years in jail, however execution of sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for seven years under the condition he serves 28 months in jail.


 In his first case in 2012, Taligalu broke into a Vaitogi home and struck the homeowner on his face with a computer monitor. The victim told police the defendant also came at him with scissors and tried to stab him but missed.


In this latest case, Ah Siu admits that on February 13, 2013 he unlawfully entered a home and removed a gas tank.


The court accepted the plea agreement.


According to the government’s case, the defendant also attempted to break into the hall of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Vaitogi however; a passing vehicle caused the defendant to take off. 




A 41-year-old man who rammed his car into another vehicle while a woman and her daughter were in the car has entered into a plea agreement with the government. Latu Paea was facing charges of second degree assault, endangering the welfare of a child and property damage, second degree, but he entered a guilty plea to second degree assault while the remaining charges were dismissed.


The incident took place on August 15, 2012 and police received a report about a fight near the Mormon Chapel in Faleniu, requesting police assistance.


According to the government’s case, a woman was sitting in her vehicle when the defendant, who was upset with her, approached her. Court documents say he approached her pointing his finger at her and yelling. The victim said she believed the defendant was upset that she had gotten into an argument with the defendant.


“Defendant blamed the victim for not ‘doing her responsibility’ as a parent, with regards to keeping her children in check. It’s alleged the defendant tried to punch the woman twice but missed. Court filings say the defendant then got into his vehicle and rammed his vehicle into the victim’s vehicle, causing damage to the right side of the vehicle.


At the time, the victim was in her vehicle, along with her daughter and her three-year old grand daughter. It's alleged after the defendant rammed into their vehicle the first time, victims were afraid and drove off to a nearby field to wait for police officers to arrive.


Court filings say about three to four minutes after that first impact, as they were waiting in their car in the field, defendant caught up with them and again rammed into their vehicle with his vehicle. This second impact caused damage to the left side of their vehicle. 


Court filings say the third time the defendant rammed into their vehicle, it caused damage to the back of their vehicle. Defendant admitted he did crash his vehicle into the victim’s vehicle.


 Sentencing is scheduled for December 15, 2013.