Court Report

KARISI TIAALII
ausage@samoanews.com

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Karisi Tiaalii has admitted to assaulting his girlfriend.

The 25-year-old was initially charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, felonious restraint, and felony stealing. But under a plea agreement with the government Tiaalii pled guilty to second-degree assault and stealing, both felonies, and the remaining charges were dismissed.

With his guilty plea, the defendant admits that on Dec. 12, 2017 he struck the victim’s face on the vehicle dashboard multiple times. He also admits that he pulled the victim’s hair to keepher from exiting the vehicle.

Tiaalii remains in custody while awaiting sentencing on Apr. 26.

Prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn while Public Defender Douglas Fiaui is representing Tiaalii.

MARK UATI

The government has charged a young man with two felonies after he allegedly forced his way into a home in Pago Pago — along with a juvenile — and stole the homeowner’s belongings, including cash.

Mark Uati was charged last week in District Court with second-degree burglary and stealing. Both counts are class D felonies and each count is punishable by not more than 5 years in prison, or a $5,000 fine.

Court documents state that the homeowner discovered that his house had been ransacked, and told police that he found in his home, a t-shirt, which he recognized as belonging to the son of one of his employees.

It also states that a 14-year-old boy told police that he and Uati had broken into the home and allegedly stole the owner’s belongings including a laptop, important documents, and cash.

Police searched for Uati and found him at a home not far from the crime scene. When questioned, Uati allegedly told police that he and the minor broke into the home and stole items from there.

He also directed police to an abandoned shack where the stolen items were being stored. According to court documents, the stolen items have since been returned to the owner. 

Uati is expected back in court next week. It’s unclear if the government will charge the minor.

FATU SAGOTE

A man who was found guilty of misdemeanor burglary has been sentenced to 12 months probation, under several conditions that include being a law-abiding citizen and not returning to the crime scene.

The government’s case against Fatu Sagote surfaced two months ago, when a man reported to police that equipment in his truck, which was parked in front of a store, had gone missing. The man was inside the store when his equipment was stolen.

A witness who saw Sagote taking the equipment contacted police, who then questioned Sagote. The defendant admitted to the crime.

Sagote told police that he wanted to sell the equipment to a neighbor for cash to buy beer for himself and his friends. The equipment was recovered and returned to the owner.

Besides probation, the defendant was ordered to pay a fine of $125 to the court.

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