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Man jailed for over a year before conviction on assault welcomed back to family

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who served almost 13 months at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) to await the outcome of his case was placed on 5 years probation by the High Court last week.

Viane Ah Mu appeared in High Court last week for sentencing after he was convicted of 2nd degree assault. He was released by the court last month to await his sentencing after the court accepted the signed plea agreement between both parties.

When given the chance to address the court, Ah Mu thanked the court for the opportunity that allowed him to return back home last month after his plea agreement with the government was accepted. He then apologized for his action and begged for a second chance to continue with his employment.

Ah Mu told the court that when he was released last month, he went back to his home and apologized to his brother, his wife and their son. He also apologized to his parents and said the disagreement between himself and his family has been settled.

He happily informed the court that he has secured gainful employment and he's now got a job to provide for his parents.

Both parties recommended a probated sentencing. Defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson informed the court that his client has served 13 months at the TCF, he’s learned his lesson and he’s now a productive member of society and his family. Prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Kristine Soule echoed Anderson’s comment.

Soule also acknowledged the statement from the defendant’s family in the Pre Sentence Report (PSR), where they stated that the defendant is welcome back to their family and everything has been settled.

The court agreed and sentenced Ah Mu to a term of imprisonment of 5 years, Execution of sentence was suspended and the defendant was placed on probation for 5 years subject to several conditions.

He’s ordered to serve 20 months at the TCF, credited for the time he’s already served. The balance of detention is stayed. Among other things, the defendant is ordered to stay clean by staying away from alcohol and illegal drugs.