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Two “not guilty” pleas expected in O&O theft case

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Two of the three defendants charged in the alleged theft of more than $19,000 worth of items from O&O Wholesale in Nuuuli waived their rights to a preliminary examination in District Court yesterday morning.

The government's case against Arona Maa and Kalala Leilua has been bound over to High Court, where they are scheduled to appear this morning for arraignment.

Both are expected to enter 'not guilty' pleas.

Bail is set at $20,000 for Leilua and $5,000 for Maa.

The third defendant, former O&O manager Siueli Blake, is also scheduled to appear in High Court today for arraignment, after she waived her right to a preliminary examination this past Wednesday.

All three are being represented by Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson while prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Laura Garvey.

Blake is being held in custody on a 'no bail' status due to her immigration status. Her ID expired in 2015 and her sponsor has been off island for three years.

According to the government's case, the three are alleged to have taken items from O&O wholesale and then selling them to a retail store in Nuuuli, for money.