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Court Report

[SN file photo]
Translated by Samoa News staff


Before Acting Associate Justice Elvis P. Patea handed down the sentence for Edward Eary Jr., the defendant was told that the Probation Office's pre-sentence report indicates that three families — who are the victims in this matter — want the court to impose the maximum sentence allowed under the law.

However, the court looked at a probative sentence, which will give the defendant the chance to turn his life around and find a job to pay a court imposed fine.

According to the government, Eary broke into four separate locations, three residential homes and a store, from where he stole various items including television sets and speakers, and later sold the items to others.

During sentencing last Friday, the defendant apologized and sought leniency from the court, which would allow him to return home to be with his parents and find a job to support his wife and children.

Assistant Public Defender Michael White asked the court to hand-down a probative sentence for his client, which would enable him to be released from jail and be with his family. White also noted that Eary, whom he said is remorseful, is a first time offender.

According to the defense, Eary has a drug problem and therefore needs some sort of drug rehabilitation program.

Assistant Attorney General Kristy Dunn didn’t object to a probative sentence, but requested the court to order the defendant to pay restitution to his victims, for the property that he stole.

Dunn pointed to the pre-sentence report prepared by the Probation Office, which quotes the defendant’s wife and mother requesting that Eary not be released from jail too soon, but to keep him in custody as a learning lesson for his crimes.

The court wanted to know if the personal property stolen by the defendant has been returned to their owners, and the government said no, adding that Eary stole two television sets — which he damaged after he found out that they were not working properly.

As for the stolen speakers, Eary sold them to other people.

Patea informed the defendant that the court has received statements from the affected families, who wanted him to be sentenced to the maximum punishment under the law.

The judge also noted that Eary had followed two others who were involved in the break-ins and this information was cited in the police report.

Under a plea agreement with the government, the defendant pled guilty to four felonies — two counts of stealing, one count of first degree burglary and one count of second degree burglary.

The court sentenced Eary to 7 years imprisonment but execution of the sentence was suspended and Eary was placed on 7 years probation, with the condition that he serve 28 months at the TCF, and he is prohibited from associating with the other two men who were involved in the break-ins.

He is also prohibited from consuming alcohol or drugs.

Eary was ordered to pay $1,390 in restitution to the victims and once released from jail, he must find a job within 60 days.

(Original Samoan story published in the Aug. 15th Lali section of Samoa News)


Fred Viliamu has been convicted of misdemeanor third degree assault.

According to court information, Viliamu assaulted the driver of a car who almost hit him and his son.

During sentencing earlier this week, Viliamu was ordered to pay a fine of $150, and apologize to the driver he assaulted. These are some of the conditions of the defendant’s 12-month probation, during which he is also to attend and complete anger management counseling.

Viliamu told the court that he assaulted the driver of the vehicle that almost hit him and his son, because he was very angry.

According to court information, the victim told police that he was trying to avoid a large pothole on the road, by swerving around it, and he didn’t see the defendant and his son on the road.


A woman accused of stealing a special Samoan fine mat (afuelo) that is typically used for funerals, is scheduled for a pretrial conference in November, after she pled not guilty to one count each of stealing, embezzlement, and receiving stolen property — all felonies, during an arraignment earlier this week in the High Court.

The case surfaced last month after a woman went to the Tafuna substation to file a complaint against Amituana'i, who failed to return a special fine mat that she took.

According to court information, Amituana'i was told that the fine mat would cost $1,000, however she was able to convince the victim to let her take the afuelo home to inspect it, and told the victim she would return it later.

Amituana’i — and the fine mat — never returned to the victim.

When police located the defendant, she told them she needed the fine mat for her father’s funeral, but she later allegedly admitted that she sold it for $300 to buy food for her children.

As of early this week, the defendant remains in custody unable to post a $5,000 bond. If she is able to post bail, Amituana'i is prohibited from making any direct or indirect contact with the victim in this case.