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Probationer who tested positive for weed is given another chance

Just say no to marijuana symbol

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who failed to comply with conditions of his 5-year probation has been given another chance.

Nick Motu — who was on probation — was arrested Friday, Apr. 19th after he tested positive for marijuana.

Motu appeared in court on Monday, Apr. 22 for his preliminary hearing, where he admitted that he failed to comply with conditions of his probation, which required him to be drug and alcohol free.

According to a report from Probation, a probation officer administered a random urinalysis test on the defendant on Apr. 19th at the District Court building. The test came back positive for marijuana.

Motu admitted to Probation that he smoked weed during a Flag Day party with friends on the night of Apr. 17th.

Motu, who was in custody since his arrest in April, appeared in court last week for a Disposition Hearing. Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill represented the defenadant, while prosecuting was Assistant Attorney General Laura Garvey.

When Motu’s case was called, McNeill asked the court not to revoke his client’s probation but instead, allow him to continue on probation. He said that after his client was released from custody last year, he complied with all of the conditions of probation.

According to McNeill, Motu was employed when he was arrested in April of this year. He paid his fine in full and was also current with his monthly visitations to the Probation Office.

The defense attorney said his client failed only when he smoked marijuana during a Flag Day party with friends.

Motu apologized to the court for his actions and asked for another chance to continue on Probation. He assured the court that he would not violate any conditions of probation.

The prosecutor echoed the defense attorney's submission and asked the court to adopt Probation’s recommendation and allow the defendant to be placed on probation again.

After reviewing the facts of the case, Chief Justice Michael Kruse ordered that Motu be permitted to continue on probation.

Kruse told Motu that the court would not revoke his probation this time; however, if he violates any conditions of probation again, the court will not give him any more chances but instead, revoke his probation.