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Court Report



A man accused of breaking into the store/home of a Chinese man has been charged with two counts of stealing, first degree burglary and second degree burglary, all felonies. Joeita Fa’aaliga made his initial appearance in District Court earlier this week.


First degree burglary is a class B felony which is punishable from five to 15 years in jail, while the other three counts are all class C felonies. Each count carries a jail-term of up to seven years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, a fine equal to twice the amount gained from  commission of said crime-up to $20,000 -or both fine and jail time.


Court filings allege that on June 16, 2013 police were contacted for assistance on an alleged burglary and police officer Moafanua was assigned to investigate. According to the government’s case, the Chinese man informed police that the screen wire to his house was torn and the window louvers were also removed along with $1,000 cash from under the victim’s bed.


Two days after the incident, police questioned a man who told them that he was involved in several burglaries with Fa’aaliga. The man told the police that the defendant broke into the Chinese man’s residence located near where Fa’aaliga lives. The man told the police that Fa’aaliga tore the screen wire, removed the louvers and then they both entered the house.


He further noted that when Fa’aaliga was inside the living room, he (the witness) was handed two bottles of wine and was told to wait in the living room while the defendant entered the bedroom. Court filings state that the two then left the house and went to the defendant’s shack where Fa’aaliga gave the witness $60 and the witness left Fa'aaliga a wine bottle.


Court filings state that the witness also told the police that they entered the same house a second time through the same way they broke in earlier. The defendant allegedly opened the front door and handed him two bags of rice, and a package of noodles.


The government alleges that the witness said he refused to carry anything and threw the bags of rice in a nearby bush and went home. The victim told the police he closed his store and went into the back room where he sleeps and noticed that the window was tampered with. He also discovered that close to $2,000 was removed from under his bed and two bags of rice were missing.


The defendant allegedly admitted to that police that he broke into the store and residence and he was ashamed of his behavior and also apologized for what he did. The defendant allegedly admitted that he no longer had any of the stolen items taken from the house and said he said he also burnt the money he took. During his appearance in court, the defendant entered a plea of not guilty in the matter and denies the allegations.




A Pago Pago man accused of striking his brother on the head with a hammer last Thursday and facing second degree assault and public peace disturbance, yesterday denied the charges filed against him before the High Court during his arraignment.


Dicklan Te’o earlier this week opted not to have a preliminary examination in the District Court and the matter was then bound over to the High Court.


Te’o is represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White while prosecuting for the government is Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe. The defendant sought a pre-trial conference date through his attorney Mr White, and Chief Justice Michael Kruse scheduled pretrial conference in this matter for next month.


The government claims that the police received a call from the defendant’s wife who reported that her husband and his brother were arguing. Court filings say, at the scene, the police spoke to the victim’s daughter, who said it was the defendant who struck her father with a hammer.


Police then spoke to the victim, the defendant’s older brother, who confirmed to police that it was his brother Dicklan, who allegedly struck him on the head. According to the government’s case, the police spoke with the defendant who admitted to “doing the deed”.


The defendant explained that the argument stemmed from an earlier argument regarding the immigration status of the victim’s wife who is sponsored by the defendant. The defendant also admitted to the police that he was consuming alcohol on the evening of the incident.


The victim was transported to the hospital for treatment where the doctor's report indicated that X-Rays were conducted and that the victim sustained a fractured occipital bone as a result of the incident.




Fualaau Tuua who’s facing charges of forgery and stealing, waived her right to a preliminary examination in the District Court earlier this week. During her arraignment before Chief Justice Michael Kruse she entered a not guilty plea and asked for a pre-trial conference date through her attorney Acting Public Defender Mike White.


The defendant who’s in her 20s is facing class C felony charges, punishable by up to seven years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, a fine equal to twice the amount gained from commission of said crime- up to $20,000- or both fine and jail time.


Tuua who’s behind bars with bail set at $20,000 will have her pretrial conference on July 27, 2013. Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe is prosecuting in this matter.


According to the government’s case, on November 2, 2012 head of security at the American Samoa Community College contacted DPS on allegations that the defendant stole a check from the business office and cashed it at the Family Mart in Nu’uuli.


Court filings say that the Family Mart owner went to the ASCC Business Office and showed an expired check that was cashed at his store and arrangements were made for a new check to be issued, however during the process of issuing the new check, it was revealed that the check was never picked up by the person who the check was made out to — the payee.


The owner of the check along with an employee at the ASCC Business office then went to Family Mart and saw footage of the person cashing the check, which revealed it was the defendant, say court filings. The defendant was identified as a student working at the Business office at the time. 


According to the owner of the store, the defendant paid $500 after she learned that the business office had found out about what she had done. Court filings do not identify the amount of the check in question.