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Plea negotiations continue in Merlin Uli case

reporters@samoanews.com

There are ongoing plea negotiations in the government’s case against Merlin Uli, one of the Uli twins facing charges on allegations that on several occasions, he escaped while on work release. Merlin is currently serving 10 years in jail with his twin brother Marlon following their conviction on two counts of unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Merlin is charged with four counts of escape while on program release, a class D felony punishable by imprisonment up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. 

The defendant had his pre-trial conference yesterday where he appeared before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond and Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr.

During his pre-trial conference both attorneys informed the court that plea negotiations are still underway in this case and more time is needed.

According to the government’s case,  on November 16, 2011 the defendant was approved to take part in the work release program, to work at 3M Burger and Merlin was already attending college full time and this part time job was in-between and after classes.

The government alleges that on June 22, 2012 a search warrant was executed at the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) Cell Unit inside the Tafuna Correctional facility where the defendant was housed.

“A number of items were seized during the execution of this search warrant, and some of the items indicated the defendant was deviating from the direct route to and from his work release” say court filings, which also state that during the search multiple receipts were confiscated from the defendant’s cell.

One of the receipts dated January 5, 2012 was a receipt for money order at the post office in Fagatogo and the defendant’s signature was on the receipt.  

It’s alleged the signature on the receipt matches the defendant’s signature on both his driver’s license and voter registration



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