Man charged in domestic assault case
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man charged with a single count of second degree assault, a felony, waived his right to a preliminary examination yesterday morning in District Court.
(To protect the identity of the victim, who is the defendant's wife, Samoa News is withholding the names of all parties involved).
Judge Elvis P. Patea has bound the case over to High Court, where the man is expected to enter a 'not guilty' plea during arraignment on Friday, Dec. 6th, 2019.
Bail is set at $5,000.
If bail is posted, conditions of release are standard, said Judge Patea, and includes no contact with the victim and witnesses in this case. But prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn informed the court that she spoke to the victim (the defendant's wife who was in the courtroom) and the woman had requested that contact with her husband be maintained.
Judge Patea granted the request but reminded the defendant that he is to maintain the peace at home. Samoa News understands the couple has three kids, ages 2, 5 and 7.
One of the three inmates charged for escaping from confinement in July 2018 has entered into a plea agreement with the government.
Valoaga Levaula, 26, was charged in 3 separate cases.
He was charged with stealing in the first case; 4 counts of stealing, 3 counts of first degree burglary, second degree burglary, escape from confinement, and alluding police in the second case; and escape from confinement in the third case.
But under a plea agreement with the government, Levaula pled guilty to stealing in the first case; and 2 counts of stealing and 1 count of first degree burglary in the second case.
In return, the remaining charges were dismissed.
With his guilty pleas, Levaula confirms that on Nov. 21, 2018 he entered a home in Tafuna in the middle of the night without permission and stole several items including 2 television sets, 3 laptops, 2 speakers, a bag, 4 pairs of shoes, a big fine mat, and an Apple iPad - all valued at more than $5,000 total.
Levaula further admits that on Dec. 7, 2018 while he was inside a store in Tafuna, he stole 2 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 tablets, worth more than $100.
He also admits that on Dec. 27, 2018 he stole several electronic items including an Apple iPad, a computer scanner, and a Samsung tablet from another store in Tafuna.
Levaula will be sentenced Jan. 9, 2020.
He remains in custody at the TCF, unable to post a $30,000 surety bond.