Man gets break for violating probation, but currently faces a burglary charge
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The second defendant arrested for burglarizing a store and stealing several items has entered into a plea agreement with the government.
Faalelei Fuiava, who has been in custody since he was arrested in May of last year, unable to post his $5,000 surety bond appeared before the High Court this week for his Change of Plea hearing. He was represented by Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill while prosecuting the case was Assistant Attorney General Doug Lowe.
Fuiava was initially charged with stealing and first degree burglary, both class C felonies, punishable by imprisonment of up to 7 years, a $5,000 fine or pursuant to A.S.C.A 46.2101, a fine equal to twice the amount of gain from the commission of said crime, up to a maximum of $20,000, or both such fine and imprisonment for each count.
However, under a plea agreement with the government, Fuiava agreed to plead guilty to the amended charge of conspiracy to commit 2nd degree burglary, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
By his guilty plea, Fuiava admits that on May 10, 2019, with the assistance of another person, he knowingly entered into a warehouse in Tafuna for the purpose of committing a crime.
While he and the other person were inside the warehouse, they stole several items belonging to Kim’s Store, with a value totaling $1,920.
Sentencing is scheduled for Apr. 16, 2020.
DISPOSITION HEARING LAST WEEK
Fuiava, who is on 5 years probation after being convicted of unlawful possession of marijuana 4 years ago appeared before Chief Justice Michael Kruse last week for a Disposition Hearing, for violating conditions of his probation.
While he was on probation for his marijuana conviction, Fuiava decided not to visit the probation office monthly, as per one of the conditions of his probation.
Fuiava apologized to the court and asked for a second chance to go back home and care for his family especially his three young children. He promised the court that he would never smoke drugs anymore during his period of probation.
Both attorneys asked the court for a second chance, which was accepted by the court.
According to Probation, the court ordered Fuiava to serve 20 months at the TCF as a condition of his 5-year probation. However, only 6 months of his period of detention was served, while the remaining 14 months was stayed by order of the court.
Kruse told Fuiava that the court would not revoke his probation, but modify it. He then ordered Fuiava to serve 120 days at the TCF.
Kruse instructed Fuiava that if he continues to violate conditions of his probation, the court will order him to serve 120 days each time he appear in court for his Disposition Hearing.
“It’s up to you to decide what is best for you and your family. Whether you continue to take illegal drugs or change your life,” Kruse told Fuiava.