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Overstayer pleads guilty to property damage after claiming he was robbed by victim's son

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — An overstayer from Samoa accused of assaulting another man and damaging his vehicle told the court that he did what he did because the victim’s son forced his way into his home and stole from him.

Aso Maanaima Jr appeared in District Court this week for a pretrial conference. However, when his case was called, prosecutor Jason Mitchell told the court that an agreement has been reached.

According to terms of the plea agreement, Maanaima Jr — who has been in custody without bail since his arrest two months ago due to his illegal immigration status — was initially charged with third degree property damage, third degree assault, and endangering the welfare of a child, all class A misdemeanors.

But under a plea agreement, which was accepted by the court, Maanaima Jr pled guilty to third degree property damage. The remaining charges were dismissed.

The case came to light after a woman called the DPS Tafuna substation on June 4th to report that her husband was assaulted by their neighbor, Manama Jr, who struck the victim on the back with a piece of wood.

The woman told police that after Maanaima Jr assaulted her husband, he turned around and struck the left headlight of their vehicle with the same piece of wood he used to assault her husband.

When questioned by police, Maanaima Jr said he assaulted his neighbor because the neighbor's 13-year-old son forced his way into his home and took off with several items while he was away.

During his initial appearance two months ago, it was revealed that Maanaima Jr’s immigration ID expired in Oct. 2018 after his sponsor, his ex-wife, refused to renew his papers.