Court enters into multiple plea agreements
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of cursing and causing disturbance in his neighborhood on Feb. 12, 2020 has entered into a plea agreement with the government last week in District Court.
Fetu Alefa was originally charged with three misdemeanor courts of public peace disturbance, resisting arrest and escaping from confinement. However, under a plea agreement with the government, accepted by the court, Alefa pled guilty to resisting arrest, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.
By his guilty plea, Alefa admits that on the night of Feb. 12 of this year, he disturbed the public peace in his neighborhood of Malaeimi. Furthermore, Alefa also admitted that he was intoxicated on the night of the incident, and he also escaped from police while they were trying to place him in custody.
According to court information, police received several calls from neighbors regarding Alefa, who was swearing at them as well as causing trouble in their neighborhood. The caller also told police that Alefa was heavily intoxicated when he approached them. When police went to find the defendant in Malaeimi, the defendant took off.
The defendant was later located in his home, and police escorted him outside, where he then broke free and ran down the road. Police were able to apprehend him and take him to the Tafuna police substation, where the defendant complained of pains in his abdominal area and problems breathing. He requested medical assistance and the EMS showed up.
The defendant then requested further medical treatment at LBJ hospital and EMS transported him to the hospital, according to the government, which also stated that police called ahead to notify LBJ security and advise then they should contact police for additional assistance, if needed.
Upon arrival at LBJ hospital, the suspect fled the hospital before he could be treated, according to the government. The defendant was later apprehended.
Both parties recommended a probated sentence without any jail term.
After reviewing facts of the case, the court sentenced Alefa to 6 months probation subject to several conditions. The court ordered Alefa to pay a $120 fine within 30-days of his probation and to stay clean from alcohol and illegal drugs. He was ordered to serve 15 days at in jail, however, the court deferred all of the jail term based on his good behavior.
As a condition of his probation, Alefa was ordered to secure and seek gainful employment, and not to set foot on his neighbor’s property during the duration of his probation.
A 50-year-old man accused of violating drug laws has entered into a plea agreement with the government.
Steve Mapu, who has been in custody since his arrest, unable to post a $5,000 surety bond appeared in court last week for his Change of Plea hearing.
Mapu was originally charged with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; methamphetamine, a felony punishable by not less than five or more than ten years in jail, and a fine of not less than $5,000 or more than $20,000, or both.
However, in a plea agreement with the government, Mapu pled guilty to unlawful possession of a controlled substance, to wit; methamphetamine. With his guilty plea, Mapu admits that on Sept. 30, 2019 he unlawfully possessed a glass pipe and three cut up straws containing methamphetamine.
According to terms of the plea agreement, Mapu’s vehicle was pulled over by police officers during a traffic stop in Puapua. During a body search, officers discovered the illegal drugs on the defendant.
When asked by police, Mapu said that he bought the illegal drugs from a man named “Willie” from Iliili for $120. He further told police that the illegal drugs are for his own personal use and he used it to help him with his hard work.
Mapu is scheduled to appear in court next month for sentencing.
A 39-year-old man accused of assaulting another man during a volleyball game in Vaitogi in March of this year admitted his action during a Change of Plea hearing last week.
Filiga Apelu, who was released on his own recognizance, was initially charged with third-degree assault, public peace disturbance and trespass, all misdemeanors. However, under a plea agreement with the government, Apelu, a taxi driver, pled guilty to the charge of third-degree assault, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.
When asked to describe to the court what he did, Apelu stated to the court that on Mar. 19th of this year, he assaulted Olataga Lavea by punching him in the face multiple times causing him to fall and then kicked him in his back while he was lying on the ground. Furthermore, Apelu stated that he was really angry over what Lavea did to his cousin, and that’s why he assaulted him.
When asked for facts of the case, the government’s attorney stated to the court that on Mar. 19th, the defendant assaulted the victim during a volleyball game in front of the victim’s home in Vaitogi. The government claimed that before the assault took place, a verbal argument erupted between the defendant and the victim. The victim then apologized to the defendant for what he did, however, the defendant was still mad at him.
After the verbal argument, the defendant confronted the victim again and then assaulted him.
When given the chance to address the court, Apelu apologized and begged for a second chance to continue his service for his family. He also apologized to the victim, who he addressed as a ‘brother’. Apelu said that he had already apologized to the victim and his family, and they accepted his apology.
Both attorneys recommended a probated sentence with anger and alcohol counseling for the defendant.
After reviewing all the facts of the case, the court sentenced Apelu to 12 months probation, subject to several conditions including keeping the peace at his residence at all times, staying clean from alcohol and illegal drugs, and he must attend and complete anger and alcohol management counseling.
He was ordered to serve 30 days at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF), however, the court deferred his jail term, as long as he complies with conditions of his probation. The court also ordered Apelu to pay a $120 fine within 30-days of his probation.