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Court orders young man to serve 15 years after violating his probation

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young man with a criminal history was ordered by the court to serve 15 years at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) for violating conditions of his probation.

Timata Enosa Naea appeared before Acting Associate Justice Elvis P. Patea last week for a Disposition Hearing for violating conditions of his probation. He was represented by former Assistant Public Defender, Rob McNeill while prosecuting the case was Assistant Attorney General Laura Garvey.

When given the chance to speak, Naea apologized to the court for his action and begged for another chance to return home to care for his elderly mother who is at home with his young sibling.

Naea told the court that he knew that he was given many chances by the court in the past and he thanked the court for that. However, while living in prison for the past 5 months after he was arrested for his new stealing case, he realized that he needed to change his lifestyle and he has to do something good for himself, his mother and his family.

He told the court that he wanted to go back to school and look for a better future. He had made a lot of mistakes and he wanted the court to know that he’s truly remorseful for his action and wanted to go back home.

McNeill asked the court for another chance for his client. Despite his criminal past, McNeill told the court that his client deserves another chance so that he can change his life and be a mature person.

McNeill said that his client is a young man who needs his mother to advise and assist him. He asked the court not to revoke his client’s probation because jail is not a good place to teach him a lesson. He asked for another probated sentence for his client.

The government attorney disagreed with McNeill’s statement. She told the court that this is not the first time this defendant has come before the court for a similar offense.

Prosecutor told the court that the defendant was given a huge break when the court suspended his 7 years imprisonment 2 years ago and sentenced him to a period of detention of only 28 months.

However, a few weeks after he was released from custody in May of this year, the defendant was arrested again for stealing another cell phone from a store.

When questioned by police, Naea told them that he gave the phone to another couple to use and the couple gave him $100 for it. Investigators were able to retrieve the phone from the couple and give it back to the store.

The government attorney believes that jail is the only place for this type of defendant, to protect him from stealing people’s property. She then asked the court to revoke the defendant’s probation and send him to jail.

In delivering his decision, Patea reminded the defendant of the many chances he was given by the court when he appeared for sentencing.

The court made it clear to the defendant that one of the many conditions the court ordered him to comply with, is to be an law abiding citizen.

However, the court’s order fell on deaf ears and he was arrested again for stealing another cell phone a few weeks after he was released from custody.

The court reminded Naea that this is the same statement he gave when he appeared for sentencing 2 years ago. Not only did he beg for a second chance to go back home to care for his mother and young sibling, but he also promised that he would never violate any laws of the territory.

The court then revoked the defendant’s probation and ordered him to serve the suspended period of imprisonment in all of the three criminal cases.

For the charge of 1st degree burglary in the first case, the court ordered the defendant to serve the full imprisonment of 15 years.

For the charge of stealing in the second case, the court ordered the defendant to serve the full period of imprisonment of 7 years.

For the charge of escape from confinement in the third case, the court ordered the defendant to serve the full period of imprisonment of 5 years.

Each imprisonment sentence will run consecutive to the others, therefore the defendant will serve a total of 15 years at the TCF. He will be credited for all imprisonment terms he has already served.


According to court files, Naea had previously been charged in 3 separate cases.

Under a plea agreement with the government, Naea agreed to plead guilty to stealing in the first case; and two counts of stealing and one count of first degree burglary in the second case. In return, the remaining charges were dismissed.

In the third case, Naea was charged with one count of escape from confinement.

Naea was 21 years old when he appeared before the court for sentencing in July 2018. According to Probation, Naea dropped out of school when he was 11 years old.

He had just served 28 months for the previous convictions when he allegedly stole the cell phone