Court sends ATM vandal to TCF for non compliance — after being shot
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who has been on probation since 2015 after being convicted of vandalizing an ATM machine and attempting to steal funds from it, has been ordered by the court to serve out the remainder of his detention, for failing to comply with conditions of his probation.
Sopi Senio Jr appeared before Associate Justice Fiti Sunia last Friday for a Disposition Hearing. He was represented by Public Defender Michael White, while prosecuting the case was Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn.
When given the chance to speak, Senio apologized for his actions and begged for a second chance to stay home to care for his parents and seek employment to pay his fine and restitution. He said the reason why he hasn't paid his fine and restitution is because he doesn't have a job.
He also told the court he failed to comply with conditions of his probation because he was injured and was in the LBJ Hospital for several months.
Senio — the victim in a case where inmates have been charged for shooting him with a gun — told the court the ever since the shooting, there have been changes in his health.
He said he was in the hospital for several months and had to undergo surgery to remove bullets from his body. "Right now, one bullet is still inside me and it's something I have to deal with for the rest of my life," Senio said.
Defense attorney White asked for a probated sentence, to allow his client to seek employment to pay his fine and restitution.
Prosecutor Dunn echoed White’s submission for a probated sentence but did point out that since Senio was sentenced, not only has he never visited Probation, he has also failed to pay his fine and restitution.
Sunia said a review of the Pre-Sentence Report (PSR) reveals that the defendant has done nothing to comply with conditions of probation that were set forth in 2015.
Senio was supposed to visit probation every month and pay a $1,000 fine and $4,4428.50 restitution. To this day, he has done nothing.
"The court considers that as a contempt of court order,” Sunia told the defendant.
“Now, you tried to bring to us your excuse saying that you were the victim in an alleged shooting; but according to the PSR, you never visited probation when you were released from prison 2 years ago, and you also failed to pay your fine and restitution,” Sunia continued.
“Mr. Senio, we don’t accept your excuse that the reason you did not pay your fine and restitution was because you were unemployed. You were given 2 years to seek employment, however, it is clear from the PSR that the reason you didn’t do anything was because you don’t care.”
The court has modified conditions of Senio’s probation, and ordered him to serve the balance of the detention term that was ordered in 2015.
Senio was ordered to serve 36 months but he only served 20 months, The remaining 16 months was suspended based on good behavior. He is now ordered to serve out that 16-month prison term.
He is also given two years to pay a $1,000 fine and restitution of $4,428.50.
If he fails to comply with conditions of his modified probation, the court may revoke probation and order him to serve the full imprisonment term of 5 years.
On Oct. 24, 2012 police were contacted regarding an ANZ ATM machine at FJ&P Kruse store in Leone, which had been vandalized. At the scene, officers observed that the ATM machine booth and surrounding wall were damaged. Court filings say police officers watched via video surveillance a male spray painting the ATM machine.
ANZ employees identified the person as Senio, whom the government said appeared drunk and angry in the video.
Senio's attempt to steal money was unsuccessful, as according to an ANZ employee, the money in the ATM was all accounted for; however, damages were estimated at $4,428 for repairs to the ATM machine, the cost of a new door, hinge, magnetic catch and installation.
Under a plea agreement, Senio pled guilty to first degree property damage.