Man accused of assaulting his girlfriend
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of assaulting his girlfriend is facing three counts of third degree assault and one count of public peace disturbance — all misdemeanors.
Besides allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Aveia Levasa is also accused of assaulting a cousin who was trying to protect the victim, who ran towards the home of the defendant’s uncle. It’s also alleged in court filings that the defendant threw a chair at his uncle.
The alleged assault stemmed from a dispute between Levasa and his girlfriend.
Levasa made his initial appearance last week in District Court. District Court Judge Fiti Sunia following a request from the defendant’s attorney, public defender Ryan Anderson, reduced bail, which was initially set at $500, to $300. It’s not clear as of yesterday, if the defendant was able to post bail.
If so, Levasa is ordered not to make contact with any government witnesses in this case — including his girlfriend, the uncle and the cousin, and he is to remain alcohol and drug free.
In explaining the reason for the court setting bail, Sunia said court records show that the defendant was previously convicted of third degree assault and public peace disturbance five years ago. He pointed out that Levasa is again before the court, for similar charges.
The High Court last week accepted Fiapale Talanoa's request for a chance to return to his family, after he was convicted of violating a condition of his 24-month probation for a previous conviction.
Chief Justice Michael Kruse has cautioned Talanoa that any more violations of probation conditions, and he will be ordered by the court to depart the territory and not return during the probation term.
For violating his probation, the court sentenced Talanoa to be jailed until May 10th of this year, and upon release, he has 90 days to find a job and be with his family. However, if he fails to secure employment within that time period, he will be ordered to leave the territory and remain outside of American Samoa during the 24-month probation.
AVIA LOMU & RYAN VILIAMU
Two young men, accused of assaulting a Pava’ia’i homeowner, will go to trial later this year after the defendants maintained their innocence, despite a plea agreement offer from the government.
It was during their pretrial conference last week that the defense attorney informed the court that the two defendants are asking for a jury trial.
Avia Lomu and Ryan Viliamu are each charged with two felony counts of second-degree assault and attempted first-degree burglary. The pair is accused of assaulting a homeowner in Pava’ia’i on the evening of Dec. 12, 2017
After the alleged assault, the homeowner, a male, was able to get into his home, according to court information, which also said that Lomu and Viliamu then tried to kick down the door to the house, calling out to the homeowner to come out and fight or else they would burn down his house.
At a High Court hearing last week, deputy public defender Michael White requested a trial date for his clients, saying his clients have denied the charges as well as a plea offer from the government, which has already presented discovery in the case.
Lomu and Viliamu — both in their early 30s — are set to go to trial in October and they remain in custody, unable to post bail.