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Asian national sentenced after pleading guilty to stealing an iMac from KVZK

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — An Asian national convicted of stealing a Mac computer from KVZK-TV was ordered by the High Court to serve 6 months at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) as a condition of his 7-year probation.

Defendant, Guo Lin, who had been released on bond since his arrest last year was transported by the court marshal to the TCF yesterday morning after his sentencing, to start serving his period of detention.

Lin, who appeared in court with his translator, was before Acting Associate Justice Elvis P. Patea yesterday morning for sentencing. He was represented by Public Defender Michael White, while Assistant Attorney General Kristine Soule’ prosecuted the case.

Lin was initially charged with one count of stealing, the same charge he later pled guilty to under a plea agreement with the government, which was also accepted by the court two months ago.

By his guilty pled, Lin admitted that in the middle of last year, he stole an iMac computer from KVZK-TV.

 When given the chance to speak, Lin, through his translator apologized to the court and the people of American Samoa for his actions. He told the court that he’s truly remorseful for what he did and he is sorry for the crime he committed.

He also asked the court for forgiveness saying that he will not behave in this way again.

White asked the court to adopt the recommendation by the Probation Office and sentence his client to a term of probation. He told the court that his client is a first offender and has no priors.

Soule’ echoed the defense attorney’s submission for a probated sentence. She told the court that the stolen property was returned to the owner and the defendant is a suitable candidate for a probated sentence.

After reviewing the Pre Sentence Report, along with parties’ submissions and the defendant’s statement, the court agreed that the defendant is a suitable candidate for a probated sentence.

The court also reminded the defendant the crime for which he was convicted was stealing, a class C felony, which by law the court can impose a sentence of up to 7 years imprisonment, or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

The court told the defendant that according to submissions by both parties, the government and his attorney have both argued to place him on probation.

The court also reminded the defendant that a foreign national convicted of a crime and placed on probation can be ordered to depart the territory of American Samoa and remain outside of its border for the duration of probation.

In deciding a sentence for Lin’s case, the court said it considered a lot of information provided by parties, including Probation. It noted that the defendant accepted his responsibility and he’s lived in American Samoa for almost 10 years now.

The court also told the defendant that despite the fact that his conviction is a property conviction, and he must understand that the Mac computer he stole belonged to KVZK-TV and is government property.

The Court then fined the defendant $3,000. The fine will be deducted from the bond the defendant posted. The balance will be refunded back to him.

Lin was place on probation for 7 years subject to several conditions:

He is to remain law abiding and visit the probation once a month or any other time probation instructs him to come to their office; and,

He is to comply with all laws of American Samoa, including immigration laws and regulations.

The court will not order the defendant to depart the territory, however, if the Immigration Board decides to deport him based on his conviction, they may do so.

Lin was ordered to serve 28 months at the TCF. He was required to serve only 6 months starting this past Wednesday and the court stayed 22 months of his detention.

Associate Judges Su’apaia J. Pereira and Paepae I. Faiai assisted Patea on the bench.