AT THE COURT: Holiday PDDs and DUIs down compared to 2017
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Public peace disturbances and traffic citations dominated the District Court calendar this past Monday, New Year's Eve. Samoa News points out that the number of these types of cases — during the holiday season — has dropped compared to last year.
Over a dozen cases came before District Court Judge Fiti Sunia that day.
The first case was that of Anthony Pu'u, who has been ordered to undergo a psych evaluation. A status hearing is set for Jan. 11th. Pu'u, who has another case pending in court, is set for a pretrial conference — for both cases — on Jan. 29.
The motion to set bond was denied and Pu'u was remanded to the LBJ Hospital for evaluation.
The government's case against Phyllis Semau has been dismissed.
Semau had been civilly committed to the Behavioral Center at the LBJ Hospital. Sunia ordered her release from custody this past Monday.
Sunia set bond for Tauasosi Faapale at $500 and if he is able to post bond, he is ordered to, among other conditions, remain alcohol and drug free, submit to random testing, and make no direct or indirect contact with the victims and stay off of their property.
The government's case against Malologa Elinio has been transferred to the Family, Drug and Alcohol (FDA) court) and his pretrial conference is set for Feb. 4.
He was released on his own recognizance on Monday, subject to the condition that he be law abiding, maintain peace at home with his family, remain alcohol and drug free, make all his court appearances, and submit to random testing.
"If you want to stay home, don't come back," Sunia said.
The District Court judge told defense counsel Wells that if she feels the need, she is "free to file a motion" with regards to defendant Mikaele Nansen's claim that he never received a copy of the traffic citation for which he was arrested and being charged.
Sunia asked, "Isn't it his Constitutional right to get a copy?" to which Assistant Attorney General Jason Mitchell said, it is his right to be "informed of the nature of the charges against him."
Even counsel Wells said she didn't get a copy of the citation, which — according to the copy provided to the court — did include the defendant's signature. A pretrial conference is set for Feb. 1, 2019. Sunia released Nansen on his own recognizance and he was ordered to remain alcohol and drug free, and submit to random testing.
Meanwhile, a pretrial conference for Misitama West is set for January 15th.
Bond for him is set at $500.
According to Sunia, there is a pending matter involving a civil protection order against West and "you need to observe that."
Sunia has ordered West not to make any direct or indirect contact with the victim in this case.
Meanwhile, the DUI case against Assistant Attorney General William Ledoux — who is out on a $500 bond — is set for a pretrial conference on February 5, 2019. Ledoux is represented by private attorney Gwen Tauili'ili-Langkilde, who requested the court's permission to allow her client to travel off island. The motion was granted.
Onsa'i Navelika, charged with illegal drug possession, is scheduled for a preliminary examination Jan.