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District Court considers full docket

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who was arrested following a disturbance reported from Fagatogo last Thursday, Mar. 21, has been released on his own recognizance.

Samasoni Muliau, 63, made his initial appearance in District Court last Friday where he entered a 'not guilty' plea to a single count of public peace disturbance.

While out on release, Judge Elvis P. Patea has ordered Muliau to remain law abiding at all times, stay alcohol and drug free, and maintain the peace at home.

Pretrial conference is set for April 30

According to the government's case, on the day in question, an intoxicated Muliau was yelling profanities at the victim, whom described the defendant as being "out of control" and making loud noises, cussing and screaming at her, calling her a prostitute.

The victim said Muliau came home drunk and they started arguing because Muliau accused her of sleeping with other men who live nearby.

When police arrived at the scene, one bystander told them that Muliau has done this "too many times." Police said when they approached the shack where Muliau was, they heard him to tell his son to inform police that he had been sleeping for "a while".

Police entered the shack and found Muliau lying on the bed. The defendant had to be assisted because he "had trouble standing up straight," according to police, who said Muliau "teetered all over the shack, trying to exit." Muliau needed help walking to the police hit. Cops say he reeked of alcohol and called his wife names from the police unit.

When they arrived at the police station, cops say Muliau "struggled to walk straight" and during the interview process, his speech was slurred, "sometimes repeating words when answering."


District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea dismissed without prejudice last Friday, at the government's request, all seven traffic violations against Manu Lefatia, who is in custody on a 'no bail' status for other criminal matters.

Lefatia was in court for a status hearing, where he was represented by Public Defender Michael White.

For his most recent case, which charges him with escape from confinement and bribery, Lefatia is represented by private counsel Talaimalo Marcellus Uiagalelei, 

Friday's dismissal takes care of Lefatia's matters in District Court.

In High Court, he is charged in other cases: one involves a shooting in Leone while the other is the alleged assault of an inmate.


A man who pled guilty to third degree assault has been sentenced to 12 months probation. Pou Luamanu appeared in District Court yesterday morning for his initial appearance on a bench warrant.

The court was informed that a resolution had been reached.

Luamanu was initially charged with two counts of third degree assault and one count of private peace disturbance.

But under a plea agreement with the government, Luamanu pled guilty to one count of third degree assault and the remaining charges were dismissed.

With his plea, Luamanu admits that in Nov. 2017 he punched the victim during an altercation that started because of a dog.

In addition to probation, Luamanu is ordered to pay $100 within 30 days, remain law abiding, attend and successfully complete an anger management counseling program, and make no contact with the victim.


A bus driver who admits that he disturbed the public peace earlier this year in January when he struck an 11-year-old child next to a laundromat has been placed on probation for 6 months, and ordered to pay $100 within 30 days.

Faavevela Neemia was initially charged with third degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child. But under a plea agreement with the government, the assault charge was amended to public peace disturbance, which Neemia pled guilty to. The remaining charge was dismissed.

In rendering sentence, Judge Elvis P. Patea, upon being told that Neemia is a bus driver, said "that explains your long traffic record." However, he added, to Neemia's credit, he has no criminal matters on his rap sheet.