REPEAT DRUG DEFENDANT JAILED AND FINED
Fa’afeai Atimalala, a repeat drug defendant was sentenced to 15 months in jail, as a condition of his five year sentence which was handed down by Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond yesterday morning. Atimalala faced unlawful possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession with intent to distribute, to which he pled guilty.
The defendant apologized for his actions to the government, the court and especially to his family, including the Senior Matai of his family Maluia Selea Fa’alata. He noted that his actions have ridiculed the good name of his family.
Assistant Public Defender Mike White noted that despite the defendant expressing remorse for his actions that he did not get a lot of money out of selling marijuana for $3 to $5, but he still made a wrong choice and needs to own up to his actions.
Although the defendant is sentenced to five years in jail, execution of sentencing is sus pended and he’s placed on probation for a period of five years under the condition that he serve 15 months in jail. White noted that the defendant has already been incarcerated for over a year.
The defendant was also ordered to pay a fine of $2,000 which is to be paid within six months of his release from jail. He was also ordered to remain a law abiding citizen, not consume alcohol and will be subject to random testing.
According to the government’s case, the police uncovered 13 live marijuana plants around the defendant’s home in Nu’uuli. Police executed a search warrant on the suspect’s resi dence and came across four marijuana plants growing inside a plastic bowl and ten marijuana plants, surrounding the home.
The marijuana plants which the police con fiscated as evidence had a street value of $5,000. All the plants were tested positive for marijuana. The height of the live marijuana plants were up to 3ft. Police also confiscated two glass pipes, six marijuana joints and loose dried marijuana leaves. The defendant was also arrested back in 1989 for similar conduct.
UPUTAUA TUIULI ENTERS GUILTY PLEA IN STEALING CASE
Uputaua Tuiuli, charged in connection with allegations that she forged two checks from her previous employer Samoa Sports, entered a guilty plea yesterday. The defendant is charged with two counts of forgery and stealing, and part of the plea deal is that she enter a guilty plea to the stealing count, a misdemeanor, while the gov ernment moved to dismiss the felony charges.
Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond accepted the plea agreement after a report was submitted by both parties indicating why the government moved to dismiss the felony charge, which was not available to the media.
The government claims that on December 1, 2010 the owner of Samoa Sports filed a com plaint against Tuiuli for stealing cheques from their company, then forging the signature of one of the owners and cashing the checks.
The store owner told police that the defendant was hired as a cleaning lady and that the shop keeper told the store owner that items in the store, such as clothes on rack, were discovered missing.
With regard to the checks, the government claims that the first check in the amount of $280.90 was cashed at a store near the defen dant’s residence, while the second check of $379.80 was cashed at the Bank of Hawaii.
The authorized signature is the father of the complaining witness, however the complaining witness told police that her father was off island during the times these checks were cashed.
Police questioned Tuiuli, who said that her father told her it would be in her best interest to just go ahead and pay off the checks in question. She told the police she was unaware of the checks and didn’t know why her name would be on them. The defendant also told police she did not commit the crime but was willing to pay for them if it meant clearing her name, say court filings.
Court filings say that when the first check was cashed she had just started working at Samoa Sports and when the second check was cashed she had not worked for a whole week.
MAN PLACED ON PROBATION IN BURGLARY CASE
Malieo Maui Jr has been placed on probation as a condition of his five year sentence. This fol lows a guilty plea that he entered last month, in connection with a plea agreement with the gov ernment. Maui was initially charged with first degree burglary. However the plea agreement has the defendant pleading guilty to the amended count of second degree burglary, a lesser charge, and Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond has accepted the plea agreement.
The defendant was sentenced to five years in jail, however execution of sentencing is suspended and he’ s place on probation for 12 months. He was ordered to remain a law abiding citizen, not consume alcohol, is subject to random testing and must visit the probation office regularly. According to the government’s case, on May 30, 2011 a breakin was reported to the Department of Public Safety.
The victim told police she was awoken by someone shining a flashlight or a torch in her apartment. She yelled at the defendant as to what he was doing there, and the defendant opened the door and left.
Police received a tip that Maui was involved and they proceeded to meet with the defendant where it’s alleged that the defendant admitted to police that he broke into the victim’s apartment.
FACING ASSAULT CHARGES, TUALAULELEI ARRAIGNED IN COURT
Moimoi Tualaulelei of Pago Pago, facing charges of robbery and third degree assault, was arraigned in High Court earlier this week, where he denied the criminal charges. The defendant, represented by Acting Public Defender Douglas Fiaui, is held on bail of $10,000. Prosecuting this matter is Asst. Attorney General Kimberly Hyde.
The defendant was arraigned before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond and Associate Judges Mamea Sala Jr and Muasau Tasina To’ofili.
According to the govern ment’s case, on February 17, 2013 a bystander contacted police for assistance regarding a man who was assaulted inside the public toilet in Pago Pago.
Police arrived at the scene and observed the victim with injuries on his facial area, a swollen left eye and mouth and bruises on the lips. The Emergency Med ical Service technicians were contacted for treatment to the victim’s injuries. The victim told police he was at a Laundromat and was walking towards Eva lanI’s to look for a room for the night when he went to the tennis court restroom, where he was approached by the defendant who asked him where he’s from.
The victim stated that after the defendant questioned him, then the defendant hit him, causing him to be unconscious. The victim said when he gained consciousness, he felt pain on his face and he managed to get up on his feet, and walked to Evalani’s for help. According to the government’s case, the defendant told police he was in a drinking session with his friends earlier.
Tualaulelei admitted that he confronted the victim asking him where he came from, and when the victim told him that he came from Pago Pago, the defendant told him he was lying. Court filings say, the defendant repeatedly questioned the victim as to where he’s from and when the victim gave the same answer , the defendant allegedly kicked the victim in the face.
Defendant further told police after he kicked the victim he punched him in the face repeatedly until the victim was unconscious. Tualaulelei fur ther said he kicked the defen dant one more time to assure that the victim was knocked out, say court filings.
The defendant then took the victim’ s wallet and backpack which he later dumped in the trash. Pretrial conference in this case is now set for next month
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