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Court Report



The two boys who were facing property damage charges in connection with damaging road equipment parked overnight in Aua and belonging to McDonnell Dowell, were sentenced to serve 90 days in jail as part of their two-year probated sentence.  Patrick Upusili and BIlly Tusi were each charged with first-degree property damage and public peace disturbance.


Tusi faced an additional charge of underage drinking. Under an amended charge outlined in a plea agreement, the defendants pled guilty to second-degree property damage and Tusi also pled guilty to underage drinking. During sentencing each defendant apologized for their actions and asked the court for a second chance to return home and seek employment to pay for the damage they did to the equipment.


Chief Justice Michael Kruse sentenced the defendants to 90 days in jail and ordered restitution of $2,600 each, which is to be paid within six months. They were also ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 each. Other conditions of their probation include that they are not to consume alcohol, nor congregate with those who consume alcohol, nor enter any taverns and bars, and they must remain law abiding citizens.  


According to court documents, McConnell Dowell personnel reported to police that their smooth gravel machine and dump truck were damaged, around 5:30a.m. on Aug. 31. An eyewitness who was drinking alcohol with the defendants earlier that morning told police what happened.


When police apprehended the defendants, the pair “reeked of alcohol” and “both jokingly and laughingly admitted to damaging the McConnell Dowell machines,” according to court documents, which also state that McConnell Dowell estimated the damage at $6,500.




A man who stole a gallon of paint that was in the bed of a truck parked in front of a store was fined and ordered to pay restitution during his sentencing. Nick Logotaeao of Ili’ili was charged with misdemeanor stealing and public peace disturbance, to which he pled guilty.  During sentencing the defendant apologized for his actions.


District Court Judge John Ward sentenced the defendant to probation of 18 months on the criminal charges he faced. Logotaeao was ordered to pay a $150 fine and restitution of $95 for the paint.




Chief Justice Michael Kruse stayed the remaining jail sentence in the case of Michael Leatigaga,  who was charged in connection with stealing more than 200 cases of wahoo from the StarKist Samoa warehouse.


Leatigaga, who was charged with stealing and receiving stolen property, pled guilty to receiving stolen property while the government moved to dismiss the remaining charge. In the plea agreement that was read in court, the defendant agreed to pay restitution of the wahoo cases that were not recovered.


During the probation review it was revealed to the court that Leatigaga already paid his fine of $2000 in full and the court ordered that the remaining jail sentence be stayed. Leatigaga was sentenced in September, 2012 to 28 months as part of his seven year sentence, with the order that the court will conduct a probation review after he serves 12 months in jail.


According to the government’s case co-defendant Leota removed more than 200 wahoo cases from the cannery warehouse which were loaded into Leatigaga's truck.


Court filings state that Leatigaga allegedly sold some of the cases to at least two stores. According to the government’s case police were able to recover half of the cases that were removed from the warehouse.