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Pay your fine or face having your probation revoked

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The High Court has found that Ioane Faimata violated conditions of his probation and he is set for another hearing on Jan. 29. In the meantime, he is remanded back to custody.

Faimata appeared before Acting Associate Justice Elvis Patea and Chief Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr. yesterday morning.

He was represented by Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill while prosecuting the case was Assistant Attorney General Laura Garvey.

At the onset of yesterday's court proceedings, Patea informed Faimata that the Probation Office wants to revoke his probation — handed down in 2013 — because he failed to abide by certain conditions: making restitution, completing his GED, and visiting the Probation Office.

Faimata admitted to the violations.

According to him, he did not make any restitution, the last time he visited the Probation Office was back in 2016, and the last time he attended GED classes was 2015, as he was terminated from the program.

Faimata is no stranger to the court system.

He was arrested following a string of break-ins and was confined to a holding cell in Fagatogo, from which he allegedly escaped following a drinking session that erupted into a fight with another inmate.

In 2012, Faimata was placed on probation for 7 years after he was convicted of stealing and first degree burglary. As a condition, he was ordered to serve 28 months at the TCF.

For that case, the government claimed that in May 2010, Faimata burglarized a store in Pava’ia’i and stole goods valued at over $600 in addition to $1,050 cash.

In a separate case, Faimata was convicted of stealing and first degree burglary after he and other men broke into a store in Tafuna and stole items and cash.

In 2017, Faimata was initially charged with three felonies; first degree burglary, possession of a burglar’s tools, and stealing. Under a plea agreement with the government, he pled guilty to stealing. The remaining charges were dismissed.

For that case, Faimata admitted that on Nov. 10, 2017 he stole goods valued at $9,600 from an Asian-owned store in Tafuna. In a written statement to police, Faimata claimed he was coerced. He said he was specifically required to retrieve 6 cases of cigarettes and he carried a knife and crowbar to the store, and had given the crowbar to the other suspect to help carry out the job.