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Failing to keep promise to CJ Kruse lands man back in jail

FA’AILI “Whistle” MATA’U

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The man who failed to keep his promise that he would never use drugs anymore was back in High Court yesterday morning, after he was arrested this past Monday on a bench warrant issued by the court last month after he failed to appear twice.

Fa’aili Mata'u, a.k.a ‘Whistle” made his initial appearance in High Court yesterday morning, where his defense attorney Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson indicated that they have received the Order to Show Cause (OSC), and his client is denying the allegations against him.

Mata'u’s PX is scheduled for June 20 at 9 a.m.

Chief Justice Michael Kruse ordered that the defendant be remanded to custody to await his next court appearance.

Mata'u’s case has been called twice in court since the government filed an OSC motion back in April of this year. When Mata’u failed to show up in court last month, Kruse immediately issued a bench warrant to find him. Mata'u will be held in custody without bail until the conclusion of his case.

The OSC was based on a recommendation from the Probation Office, after Mata'u  tested positive for meth in April, a few days after he was released from the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF).

A verbal report from the Chief Probation Officer was presented to the court when Kruse wanted a recap of Matau’s case, when the case was called last month.

According to the report, as a condition of his 5-year probation, stemming from a conviction for unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), Mata'u was ordered to remain alcohol and drug free, and he is to submit to random testing.

Another condition of Mata'u’s probation required him to serve 20-months at the TCF without release. He was credited for the 4 1/2 months he spent in pretrial confinement. The remainder of the detention period was stayed until further order of the court, and Mata'u was ordered to be released that day, which was Mar. 27, 2018.

Kruse ordered the Probation Office to conduct a test on the defendant immediately after the court rendered sentencing, and the defendant was to be tested every week within the next 30-days.

Mata'u was arrested by police on Oct. 29, 2017 after patrol officers found drugs in his possession while he was sleeping at a bus stop in Tafuna.