Court Report

reporters@samoanews.com

MELVIN ETEUATI

The government has charged a young man with two felony counts after he allegedly forced entry into a home in Atu’u, along with a juvenile and stole the homeowner’s belongings, including cash.

Melvin Eteuati 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 went into his home and found it ransacked. The homeowner also told police that a t-shirt, which he recognized, belonging to the son of one of his employees, was also found in the home.

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

Police then went in search of Eteuati who was located at a home not far from the crime scene. When questioned, Eteuati allegedly told police that he and the 14-year-old did break into the home and stole the belongings inside the home.

Eteuati also directed police to an abandoned small shack where the stolen belongings were stored. The belongings, according to court documents, have since been returned to the owner. 

The defendant is expected back in court later this week. It’s unclear if the government will charge the 14-year-old boy, who is a juvenile and if he is charged, his case is not open to the public.

POLICE SEARCHING FOR ANSWER

Police continue to investigate the case of the death of a woman, of about 31 years old, whose body was found inside her home in Malaeloa more than a week ago.

Police Commissioner Save Liuato Tuitele told Samoa News that police are diligently continuing their investigation. He said that based on information received by police so far, the deceased woman probably had an argument with her husband and then she went into a room, which she locked, and where she was later found dead.

Because the case remains under investigation, no other details are being publicly released at this time.

FATU FILEMU

A man who was found guilty of misdemeanor burglary has been sentenced by the District Court to 12 months probation, under several conditions with which he must abide including that he does not commit any crime during the probation period and he is prohibited from returning to the scene of the crime.

The government’s case against Fatu Filemu surfaced two months ago, when a man reported to police that equipment in his truck, which was parked in front of a store, had disappeared. The man was inside the store to make a purchase and returned to find the important equipment missing.

A young man witnessed the defendant taking the equipment and had contacted police, who then questioned Filemu, who told police that he took the equipment. Filemu 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 $125 fine to the court.

Samoan stories were published yesterday on Samoa News online.
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