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Young man in Juvie Detention case pleads guilty


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — One of the co-defendants in the Juvenile Detention Center (JDC) case has pled guilty. Aviu Asofa Titio, 20, admits that on June 8, 2016 while detained at the JDC, he threatened one of the government’s key witnesses who was also detained at the JDC — to stop her from saying anything to the police.

He admits that he told the witness that he would do something to harm her and her mother, in order to get her to withhold evidence from police during their investigation.

Titio, who has been in custody since he was arrested in March 2017, is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on June 29 at 8:30a.m.

Assistant Public Defender Michael White represents the defendant, while prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn.

Titio, who was a detainee at the JDC, was arrested along with four DPS officers assigned to the JDC last March.

The group was alleged to be involved in illegal activities that included soliciting money from the parents of JDC detainees saying they needed to buy necessities when they were allegedly using the money to buy drugs.

Other charges had to do with exposing detainees to pornographic videos, and locking juveniles in cells while they spent time with people who entered the compound.

The 4 DPS officers are: Okesene Alo, Alofagia Letuli and Olataga Wilson (whose cases are pending in High Court); and Junior Utuga whose case is still in District Court.

Letuli and Wilson entered into a plea deal with the government last month. Both pled guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine).

The two are scheduled to appear in court next month for sentencing. Alo on the other way is scheduled to appear in court later this year in November for a jury trial.


One of the four inmates charged for escaping from confinement in January has entered into a plea agreement with the government.

Timata Naea, 20, was charged in 3 separate cases. One case charges him with stealing. In another case, Naea was slapped with several charges including 4 counts of stealing; 3 counts of 1st degree burglary; 1 count of 2nd degree burglary; 1 count of escape from confinement, and the misdemeanor charge of alluding police officers.

In a third case, Naea was charged with 1 count of escape from confinement.

Under a plea agreement with the government, Naea agreed to plead guilty to stealing in the first case; and 2 counts of stealing and 1 count of first degree burglary in the second case.

In return, the remaining charges are dismissed.

With his guilty pleas, Naea admits that on Sept. 7, 2017 while he was inside a store in Nu’uuli, he stole a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 tablet, worth more than $100

He also admits that on Oct. 30, 2017 he stole several electronic items including an Apple iPad, a computer scanner, and a Samsung tablet from another store in Nu’uuli.

Naea further confirms that on Nov. 7, 2017, he entered a home in Nu’uuli in the middle of the night without permission and stole several items including 2 television sets, a laptop, 2 speakers, a bag, 4 pairs of shoes, a big fine mat, and an Apple iPad — worth more than $5,000

Acting Public Defender Kate Hannaher is representing Naea while prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Robert Morris.

Naea is scheduled to appear in court June 13th for sentencing. He remains in custody at the TCF, unable to post a $20,000 surety bond.