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TCF inmate receives additional seven year sentence for Tool Shop theft

A man who’s currently serving 30 years in jail for a murder conviction in 2010 was sentenced to an additional seven years in jail in connection with stealing items from the Tool Shop.

Sentencing for Mark Faipaua was handed down by Chief Justice Michael Kruse, Chief Associate Judge Logoai Siaki and Associate Judge Fa’amausili Pomele.

Fiapaua was initially charged with first degree burglary and stealing. However, in a plea agreement the defendant entered a guilty plea to stealing while the government moved to have the burglary charge dismissed.

The defendant pleaded with the court for leniency given that he’s currently serving 30 years. He apologized to the store involved in this matter, and also apologized to the government, the court and his family.

“Although my family is not present due to other obligations, I ask that they forgive me for  my actions,” said Faipaua. He told the court that he would like very much to go back home.

Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cardin pleaded with the court to sentence the defendant to a concurrent jail time, rather than additional time to the 30 years he’s already serving.

She noted that perhaps one day he will come out from jail and replenish his life.

In this case, Chief Justice Michel Kruse pointed out from the pre sentence report that the incident occurred on July 2009 where the defendant broke into Tool Shop, and in September the police report was complete and was handed over to the Attorney General’s office for prosecution.

However this case was not prosecuted and during the same month (September), Faipaua was in a drinking session with a man whom he killed said, the Chief Justice.

He added, “Subsequently the murder would not had happened” if the burglary case at the Tool Shop was prosecuted. Kruse asked Assistant Attorney General Julie Pasquale “why was this case prosecuted so late?”

The Assistant AG (who was recently hired) replied that she did not know. Pasquale took this case over from former Assistant AG Cable Poag who has since left the territory.

The Chief Justice also noted that it states in the pre sentence report that the defendant is alleged to have escaped from TCF.

Assistant Public Defender Leslie Cardin, who represents Faipaua, told the court that part of the plea agreement in the stealing case, was that former Assistant AG Poag agreed not to prosecute the defendant for the escape in return for his guilty plea.

Kruse sentenced the defendant to seven years in jail and this is to be run consecutively with the current 30 years he’s serving.

According to the government’s case, Faipaua admitted to police during the investigation that he had broken into the Tool Shop.

Faipaua told police he used the money to buy beer, food and phone cards. The laptop and DVD player were recovered by police. 

During sentencing Kruse noted the defendant is a repeat offender who is not new to the court. He had been sentenced in the murder of Lisati Uili to 30 years; and had previously served 20 months in prison for criminally negligent homicide in connection with the death of a Tuvalu fisherman, Kalele Kaleka in 2006.