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Court Report



Eighteen-year-old Titio Titio Jr has been sentenced to a straight five years in jail for his second conviction, this time for stealing, after entering into a plea agreement with the government.


Last month, Titio pled guilty to stealing and property damage while the remaining count of underage possession or consumption of alcohol was dismissed.


In this latest incident, Titio was arrested June 15, 2013 after being released from Tafuna Correctional Facility on June 3, 2013 after serving a sentence for burglary.


The defendant during the plea agreement hearing admitted to removing items from a vehicle parked in Nu’uuli. Items removed from the vehicle included an iPad Mini, iPod and an android phone — with a total value of $1,200. 


The court pointed out it appears the defendant has an alcohol problem and the end result of this is to leave him inside the Tafuna Correctional Facility.


During sentencing the defendant apologized to the court for his actions and asked the court for a second chance, so he can return home and seek employment to care for his parents.


Kruse asked Titio if the probation report is accurate that this is not his first offense where alcohol is factor. Titio replied, “yes.” The Chief Justice then asked Titio if he received any beer while inside the Tafuna Correctional Facility, Titio said no. Kruse then said a way the court can help Titio to stay away from alcohol is to remand him into police custody.


The Chief Justice pointed out that handing down the right sentencing in this case is somewhat difficult because if the court jails a young man, the court knows it’s not a good place for him, however if the court releases him from jail, Titio would be afforded the opportunity to break the law again.


Kruse pointed out that it appears that the beer “Tauasala” has cost him five years of his life. 




A young man, who broke into his aunt’s residence, has been fined $200 as part of a five-year probation sentence. Kerry Naolavoa was initially charged with first degree burglary and stealing, but in a plea deal with the government he pled guilty to second degree burglary and stealing amended from a first-degree burglary charge.


During sentencing, Naoalavoa apologized for his actions and asked the court for a second chance to return home. He told the court that during the month he was incarcerated, he didn’t receive any good advice from those inside jail.


Assistant Public Defender Karen Shelley asked that Naolavoa be placed on probation so he can return home and seek employment to care for his two-year old son and his family.


Items removed from the Aunt’s home included an iPod Touch, T-shirts and $30.


Kruse sentenced the defendant to five years in jail, however execution of sentencing is suspended and he’s placed on probation for five years under the conditions that he serve six months, pay a fine and make restitution.




Etevise Tomasi who pled guilty to first-degree assault last month, has entered into another plea agreement with the government vacating the first guilty plea. Tomasi was charged with her friend Shary Mua in connection with assaulting a woman at a nightclub two months ago.


Tomasi and Mua were initially charged with first degree assault, in a plea offer by the government, Mua pled guilty to third degree assault, a misdemeanor while Tomasi pled guilty to the first degree assault which was later changed to second degree assault, a much lesser charge. Second-degree assault is punishable up to five years in jail.


In the case of Mua, Kruse sentenced her to time served and ordered her to pay a fine of $250. In Tomasi’s case, the government filed a second plea agreement that was accepted by Chief Justice Michael Kruse, who scheduled sentencing for Tomasi on December 20, 2013.


During the plea hearing it was revealed Tomasi’s family conducted a traditional forgiveness of ifoga to the victim’s family, who had since accepted the apology.