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Repeat offender sentenced to 7 years imprisonment — straight time

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 27-year-old man who was convicted in High Court of second degree burglary was ordered by Chief Justice Michael Kruse to serve a prison term of 7 years at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF).

Ioane Faimata, who is serving a 5-year sentence after Judge Elvis P. Patea revoked his probation last month, appeared in High Court yesterday morning for sentencing.

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

Faimata was originally charged with three felonies; first degree burglary, possession of a burglar’s tools, and stealing.

However, in a plea agreement with the government in December of last year, Faimata pled guilty to an amended count one, second degree burglary. With his guilty plea, Faimata admits that on Nov. 9, 2017, he unlawfully entered Pacific Mini Mart in Tafuna for the purpose of stealing goods for himself and three other men who instructed him to commit robbery.

While he was inside the store, Faimata stole numerous goods valued at $9,600

When given the chance to speak, Faimata apologized to the court, the American Samoa Government, and also his family and village for his actions, and asked for another chance. He said he’s really remorseful and he promised that he will never break the law again.

“I promise, your honor, that if I am given another chance, I will be a changed young man and will comply with all the laws of the territory. I know what I did was wrong, but I assure you that I am truly remorseful and want to go back home once I’m done with my current sentence,” Faimata continued.

Attorneys from both sides recommended that if the court wished to sentence Faimata to a period of detention, that it would run concurrently with the sentence he is serving now, for violating conditions of his 2012 probation.

McNeill told the court that Faimata was convicted in 2012 for second degree burglary, and was ordered to serve 28 months in jail as a condition of his 7-year probation.

After reviewing the facts of the case, Kruse sentenced Faimata to seven years imprisonment, straight sentence. The sentence will run concurrent (at the same time) to any other sentence he is serving at TCF.