Court Report



A man who assaulted his pregnant wife in March was sentenced earlier this week to serve ten days at the Tafuna Correctional Facility.

Samoa News is withholding the defendant’s name to protect the identity of the victim in this matter.

The defendant was initially charged with resisting arrest, assault third degree, private peace disturbance and public peace disturbance charges.

In a plea deal with the government, the defendant pled guilty to third degree assault while the government moved to dismiss the remaining charges.

District Court Elvis Patea sentenced the defendant to two years probation under the condition that he serve ten days in jail on the weekends, remain a law abiding citizen and undergo anger management counseling. He must also visit the probation office regularly.

According to the government’s case the defendant, who was intoxicated, got upset and started breaking things inside their home and then assaulted his wife. The defendant then resisted the police officers who were trying to place him in handcuffs.

Assistant Public Defender Donna Clement represents the defendant while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Blake Hanley.


The government has charged a former employee of the YSJ Store in Nu’uuli, Joseph Iakopo with stealing and attempting to receive stolen property. The defendant is charged in connection with allegations that he stole cases of meat valued at close to $2,000.

Iakopo is held on bail of $10,000 and is represented by the Public Defender’s office.

The stealing charge, a class C felony which is punishable by up to seven years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or a fine equal to twice the amount gained from the commission of the crime, or both a fine and jail term, while the attempted receiving stolen property is a class D felony which carries a jail term of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.

According to the government’s case, on June 28, 2012 owners of YSJ store in Nu’uuli filed a complaint with the police regarding the defendant who allegedly stole several cases of meat from the store, which he attempted to sell.

Police investigation revealed that another employee of YSJ received word that the defendant was trying to sell the cases of meat.

Court filings state a witness told police around 10:30 p.m. on June 27, 2012, he heard dogs barking outside his house and he saw the defendant loading several cases of meat into a taxi.

Then the defendant tried to sell the witness short ribs, hamburger patties and other meat. The witness told the defendant he didn’t have any money.

Another witness who lives with the defendant told police he saw the cases of meat inside their refrigerator.

Court filings state the defendant told this second witness that he stole from the store because the storeowner is 'b.s.' about their paychecks.

Police interviewed the defendant who admitted he took the cases of meat from the store. Iakopo said he stole the items from a freezer container while the store was still open and he carried the items into the taxi.


A 20- year old female charged for the alleged assault of another female with a beer bottle denied the charges against her when she was arraigned in the High Court yesterday morning.

Natasha Uia who’s held on bail of $10,000 is facing charges of second-degree assault, public peace disturbance and underage possession of an alcoholic beverage.

The felony assault is a class D felony punishable up to five years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both, while the PPD and underage possession of alcohol are both class B misdemeanors that carry jail terms of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

According to the government’s case, police received a call from the hospital about a girl being treated for injuries to her head. The police were dispatched to the Emergency Room.

The victim told police the defendant approached her about rumors, and then the defendant struck her head with a beer bottle, which caused her to stumble while the defendant continued to punch her on the head.

During the investigation, the defendant admitted to police that she struck the victim on the head with a beer bottle.

Assistant Public Defender Mike White represents her, while prosecuting this matter is Assistant Attorney General Cable Poag.


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