"If you don't want to go back there, don't come back here," Sunia tells young man released from TCF
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — After spending 125 days at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) in Tafuna, District Court Judge Fiti Sunia ordered the immediate release of Tevita Moala yesterday, after Moala pled guilty to public peace disturbance, a class B misdemeanor that carries a maximum jail term of 6 months, a fine of up to $500 or both.
Moala was facing charges in three separate cases. In a prior case, he was placed on 24 months probation for underage drinking. Judge Sunia — before accepting Moala's guilty plea yesterday to PPD — informed Moala that conditions of his probation included being law abiding, and by him agreeing to plead guilty to PPD, he admits that he is in violation of that condition.
Moala said he understood.
Attorneys from both sides recommended that Moala be sentenced to time served. Moala has been in custody since his arrest in September 2018.
Judge Sunia mentioned that Moala has "re-offended twice" and sentenced him to 125 days. He will be credited for time served and the court did not impose a fine.
"From now on, probation is not an option for you," Sunia said to Moala. The next time Moala is in court, Sunia continued, he will be sent to the TCF.
"If you don't want to go back there, don't come back here," Sunia concluded.