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Man who assaulted another with a knife sentenced to time served

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Mikaele Filipo, who pled guilty to third degree assault two weeks ago, a charge amended from assault in the second degree — was sentenced to time served, which was 86 days.

During the plea agreement hearing, upon questioning by the court, the defendant admitted pulling a knife on the victim. He further admitted that he punched the victim in the face and kicked his back twice.

However, the defendant also told the court that it was the victim who first assaulted him by striking his head with an empty beer bottle causing a cut on the right side of his head. He was shocked to learn that police did not arrest nor charge the victim for his role in the incident.

The court asked the defendant if he agrees that it’s unfair that he was the only one charged in the altercation, and if the complaining witness should have also been charged, and the defendant replied “yes”.

According to the government’s case, police received a report by the complaining witness that the defendant had stabbed him in the hand, while accusing him of stealing items from his parents’ house. The government claimed that the victim also admitted to police that it was he who started the incident.

Court documents state that the Emergency Medical Services treated the injuries the victim sustained from the attack, and it’s alleged the injuries were not serious.

Police confiscated the knife from the defendant’s residence.

The court ordered Filipo not to go near the victim’s house and if he encounters him in public, he must walk away from him peacefully, as a condition of his 12 months probation. The court also ordered Filipo to serve 90 days at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF), and was credited for the 86 days he already served. The balance of detention is stayed until further order of the court.

The court also ordered Filipo to pay $250, attend counseling and stay away from alcohol and illegal drugs.