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Court Report


A drinking session which turned violent, landed a man in High Court yesterday morning. Jimmy Fidow was arraigned before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond on allegations that he struck another man with a beer bottle and faces one count of first degree assault.

Fidow’s case was bound over from District Court after he waived his rights to a preliminary examination hearing Thursday morning.

He entered a plea of not guilty to the charge, through his attorney Assistant Public Defender Michael White, and his pre-trial conference is scheduled for February 21, 2011.

The government contends Fidow was in a drinking session with the victim in Fagaalu, when the incident occurred last week. Fidow is accused of having struck the man in his face with a beer bottle. The victim suffered a fractured nose and lacerations on his facial area and underwent an emergency operation as a result of the incident.

Fidow is in police custody on bail of $15,000.


The government has filed an additional charge of stealing against Nathaniel Zapi Rodriguez of Mesepa, on allegations that he unlawfully entered a bedroom and removed food, an ipod and money. According to the government’s case, the 19 year old defendant, manages a building in Mesepa where the incident occurred. It’s alleged the defendant used the key to enter into a bedroom inside the building he manages.

The complaining witness told police, that food, cash and ipod were removed. The defendant admitted to police that he took the food, but had no knowledge of the cash and ipod. Rodriguez is held on $15,000 bail and is represented by Assistant Public Defender Donna Clement with Asst. AG Camille Philippe prosecuting.


The high court granted a request by the probation office for a continuance on the government’s case against Pelasio So’otaga accused of breaking into the Tafuna High School office. Pelasio was scheduled to be sentenced before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond yesterday. According to the government’s case, the defendant was accompanied by two juveniles in this case.

So’otaga was initially charged with first degree burglary and property damage, however he entered a guilty plea to an amended charge of burglary second-degree while the remaining charge was dismissed.

In December 2011 during So’otaga’s change of plea, the defendant admitted in court that he and the minors broke into the office because the juveniles were upset with the high school counselor. They intended to vandalize the office, however when they broke into the office the security guards saw them then they fled. The defendant who has been in custody since last year December is scheduled to be sentenced on February 3, 2012,


The government is looking at resolving their case against a 20 year-old man accused of breaking into a Vaitogi home and trying to stab the homeowner after assaulting him. Taligalu Ah Siu of Vaitogi is facing charges of first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, underage consumption of alcohol and private peace disturbance. Public Defender Ruth Risch told the court, that additional time is needed because she had just received the plea deal from the government.

According to the government's case, Ah Siu broke into the Vaitogi home and struck the homeowner on his face with a computer monitor. The complaining witness told police the defendant also came to him with scissors and tried to stab him but he missed. The family managed to restrain the defendant while they contacted police. Ah Siu who’s in jail on $25,000 bail has been in custody since the incident in November. Associate Justice Lyle Richmond re-scheduled the pre-trial conference for the defendant on February 3, 2012.