Unpaid fine and restitution equals a probation violation
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who was ordered to pay $825.24 in restitution for tools he stole from his neighbor, is asking the court to give him four months to pay it in full.
Aleki Solomona appeared in court last month for an Order To Show Cause (OSC) hearing, for failing to comply with conditions of his 7-year probation, which was handed down in 2016 after he was convicted of stealing.
As a condition of probation, Solomona was ordered to pay restitution and a $1,000 fine, and also find a job and visit Probation monthly. But according to Probation, Solomona has only paid $150 of his fine and $200 in restitution.
Solomona told the court he didn't pay his fine and restitution in full because he has been unable to find a job. He said he was hired by a local construction company in 2017, however, he was terminated 8 months later, after the company owner found out he had been convicted of stealing.
According to Solomona, he used some of the money he earned in that 8 months to pay part of his fine and restitution, but the rest went to feeding his family and his elderly mother, who passed away last year.
He begged the court to give him four months to pay off the balance, adding that he has a plantation and it's been two months since he started selling taro, banana, and vegetables at the market to earn money for his family and help pay his fine and restitution.
The defense attorney said he has explained to his client the seriousness of not complying with the court’s order, and the consequences he may face if he doesn't do as he is told.
The court has granted Solomona’s request, and given him four months to pay his outstanding fine and restitution. Solomona was reminded that once the court revokes his probation, he will have no chance left, and he will have to serve the suspended period of imprisonment, which is 5 years.
Under a plea agreement, Solomona pled guilty to stealing, a class C felony, and the remaining charges of first degree burglary, trespass, and third degree property damage were dismissed.
He was sentenced to 7 years and a fine of $1,000. But the execution of sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for 7 years, subject to certain conditions. He was to serve 28 months; however, he only served 12 months and the balance of 16 months was suspended.
Solomona burglarized his neighbor’s home in Ottoville . He damaged the back door, entered the home late at night, and stole several power tools that were inside the garage.