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Public Peace Disturbances continue to clutter up Dist. Court docket

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA  — District Court Judge Fiti Sunia granted the government's motion to dismiss the case against Manaia Lalokou yesterday morning.

According to Assistant Attorney General Jason Mitchell, the government is not able to move forward successfully in prosecuting the case.

The court was informed that Lalokou has a return ticket to Samoa and he is scheduled to depart this Friday.

Sunia warned Lalokou not to appear in court again, if he ever comes back to American Samoa.

Lalokou was charged with public peace disturbance and resisting arrest, following an incident that occurred early Christmas morning in Leone, where Lalokou allegedly threatened to "jump out of the police unit and commit suicide.”

This was after family members contacted police, claiming that an intoxicated Lalokou was shouting profanities inside his home and attempting to throw things around the house.

Lalokou entered the territory on a 30-day permit and his ID expires this week, just in time for him to return to Samoa.


A man who said he swore at a woman who was trying to hit him with her vehicle in Pago Pago has been sentenced to 9 months probation.

Nissan Penitusi entered a Change of Plea yesterday in District Court.

Under a plea agreement with the government, Penitusi agreed to plead guilty to public peace disturbance, a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months imprisonment, a fine of up to $500 or both.

Assistant Attorney General Laura Garvey recommended a probated sentence of 6 months and alcohol counseling, saying the defendant was intoxicated at the time of the alleged incident.

Judge Fiti Sunia pointed out that Penitusi was placed on probation before, for yet another alcohol-related incident.

He then sentenced Penitusi to 9 months probation, under the condition that he be law abiding, visit the Probation Office as required, remain alcohol and drug free, attend and complete alcohol counseling, and pay a fine of $100 within 30 days.

Additionally, Penitusi is ordered to pay all his outstanding fines with the District Court within 30 days.

The court has stayed 43 days of a 45-day jail term (2 days are credited for time served).

A probation review is set for May 31.


A woman who was intoxicated and making noises on the road pled guilty yesterday to public peace disturbance.

April Castro was initially charged with public peace disturbance and two counts of third degree assault. But under a plea agreement with the government, Castro pled guilty to PPD and the remaining charges were dismissed.

Because she is a first time offender, the court sentenced her to 6 months probation. She is also to pay a $100 fine in 30 days.

Castro is to abide by the standard probation conditions set forth by the court and in addition, she must attend and successfully complete alcohol counseling.

Her probation review is set for May 31.