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Man gets probation— plus some jail time for burglary

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The 28-year-old man who was convicted of breaking into a house has been sentenced by Acting Associate Justice, Elvis P Patea to 12 months in jail as a condition of a 5-year probation term.

Ron Albert Mauga, who has been in custody since he was arrested last year, was originally charged with first degree burglary and resisting arrest; however, under a plea agreement with the government, which was accepted by the High Court this week, Mauga pled guilty to the amended charge of second degree attempted burglary.

With his guilty plea, Mauga admits that on Oct 5, 2017, with the intent to steal and without permission, he entered his neighbor's home with a machete in hand.

Mauga appeared in High Court this week for sentencing. He was represented by Public Defender, Michael White, while Assistant Attorney General, Christy Dunn prosecuted the case.

When given the chance to address the court, Mauga apologized for what he did and asked for a second chance so he can return home and care for his family. He said he’s truly remorseful for what he did.

White asked the court for a probated sentence, saying his client is a first time offender and has taken full responsibility for his actions. Dunn echoed the defense attorney’s submission, saying the defendant is a young man who made a careless mistake.

In delivering his decision, Patea noted that according to the Pre Sentence Report, Mauga is convicted of second degree attempted burglary. Patea said the defendant told the Probation Office that the reason he went to the house was to “get a quick fix to maintain his high.”

Mauga was sentenced to 5 years probation, subject to the condition that he serve 20 months in jail; however, he will only serve 12 months. The remaining 8 months will be stayed. The defendant will be credited for time served, which is 320 days.

Upon release from prison, Mauga is ordered to seek and retain gainful employment.