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Man gets 45 days in jail for probation violation

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Court suspends execution of imprisonment in two other cases

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who attempted to pick a fight with his 56-year-old uncle and then assaulted his brother-in-law has been ordered to serve 45 days at the TCF for violating conditions of his probation. He is also placed on probation for 24 months after he pled guilty to private peace disturbance and third degree assault.

Folau Filipo appeared in court last week for a pretrial conference, where his attorney, Assistant Public Defender, Ryan Anderson revealed that both sides have reached an agreement and his client wished to plead guilty to the charges against him.

Filipo was initially facing charges in two separate cases.

For the first case, he was charged with public peace disturbance and private peace disturbance. In a separate case, he was charged with third degree assault and public peace disturbance.

Filipo pled guilty to private peace disturbance in the first case, and third degree assault in the other. The remaining charges were dismissed.

Filipo admits that on Mar. 09, 2018, while he was drunk, he engaged in a fist fight with his brother-in-law, during which he punched him in the face multiple times.

He also admits that on Oct. 20, 2018 while he was drunk, he disturbed the peace at home by engaging in a verbal argument with his uncle and challenging him to a fight.

With his pleas of guilt in both cases, Filipo admits that he violated conditions of his 24-month probation by consuming alcohol and disturbing the peace.

(Filipo was placed on probation for 24 months last year following a third degree assault conviction. In Mar. 09, 2018, a few months after he was placed on probation, Filipo was in court again, charged with private peace disturbance, but he was later released after he posted a $500 cash bond, under the condition that he maintains the peace within his family.)

When given the chance to speak, Filipo, apologized for his actions and asked for another chance to return home. He said being in prison is not good for him, because he misses his parents and his family. But he didn't apologize to his uncle and brother-in-law, the victims in the two cases.

Anderson asked the court to adopt the government’s recommendation in their agreement, to give Filipo a probated sentence instead of revoking his probation.

Anderson said Filipo admitted to his actions and he takes full responsibility for what happened. He added that his client now realizes how bad it is for him not to comply with conditions of probation.

Prosecutor Jason Mitchell asked the court to sentence Filipo to jail time because not only did he violate conditions of his probation, he also poses a threat to his own family, evident in his engaging in a fight with his brother-in-law (his sister’s husband).

“You are living a dangerous life sir. You need to change your behavior before it’s too late. Your probation is revoked and you’re ordered to serve 45 days at the TCF in Tafuna,” Judge Patea told the defendant.

Filipo was ordered to serve 15 days for private peace disturbance, and 120 days for third degree assault. But the court suspended the execution of the prison sentences and placed Filipo on probation for 24 months under the following conditions: He has to keep the peace at home at all times; he must stay alcohol and drug free; he has to attend and complete anger management and alcohol counseling; and he has to pay a fine of $100.

“If you’re back in court again, you will be ordered to serve your suspended imprisonment terms,” Judge Patea told Filipo. “Do something good in life and don’t appear before the court again.”