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Court Report



A man who initially accused Samoans of putting marijuana in his bag without his knowledge has pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of marijuana. Michael Jackson was held on bail of $10,000 on the single count of unlawful possession of the controlled substance, a felony that is punishable up to five years and not more than 10 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 and not more than $20,000 - or both.


According to the government’s case, the defendant was going through security check at the District Court when, Deputy Court Marshal Norman Heather discovered a baggie containing green leaves which the Marshal (who is a former detective with the DPS Vice and Narcotics Division) suspected was marijuana, based on his training, experience, and visual inspection. The Marshal then detained the defendant.


Court filings say CID Detective Johnny Paselio, who was assigned to the case tested the green leafy substance and it tested positive for THC, an ingredient found in marijuana.


The defendant provided a statement to the police, in which he said that he was trying to catch a bus near Freddie’s Beach where some Samoans stopped and told him that it was too late to catch a bus. He then went with them to a party in Kokoland and bought them some beer during the course of the evening, says court filings.


Others consumed alcohol and marijuana during the party but the defendant claimed he only had alcohol. He claims some of the Samoans said they were going to give him some marijuana to take home. The defendant said he did not want any, but he thinks someone must have stuffed it in his bag, say court filings.


Sentencing has been scheduled for this Thursday before Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond.




A 56-year-old man, who is being held on child molestation charges with no bail, has entered into a plea agreement with the government. Ati Fa’alavelave was arrested last year on allegations that he molested a 12-year-old girl from Poloa. Fa’alavelave was charged with child molestation, sodomy and deviate sexual assault, which are all felonies and according to the High Court calendar, the defendant’s change of plea hearing is scheduled for this Thursday.


The defendant is represented by the Public Defender’s office while Assistant Attorney General Russell Smith is prosecuting this case. It’s unclear at this time what the plea offer was from the Attorney General’s office.


According to the government’s case the victim was sent by her mother to the grandparents’ house asking permission to borrow their car. It’s alleged that as the victim was returning home the defendant pushed the victim into the banana tress and licked the victim’s neck, while holding down both her hands and the defendant began touching her breast. He then touched her on her private parts. “While the victim was digitally penetrated she stated the defendant had moved his hand over to her neck and she was having a hard time breathing,” say court filings. It’s alleged the victim told the defendant to stop because what he was doing hurt her, but defendant said no. “The defendant then pushed the victim a short distance away from him and told her if you tell your mother I will come and kill you.”


According to the government’s case, when the police questioned the defendant, he said, “I was tempted by the devil.”