Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Sentencing for Ioane Faimata was continued to this week, to avoid any "inconsistent outcomes".
Faimata appeared in High Court last Friday for sentencing, during which time he apologized to the court, the victims, his family, village, church and the Probation Office for his actions. Faimata told the court that he is truly remorseful and the time he has spent in prison has taught him a good lesson.
He requested the court to allow him to find a job so he can pay his fines.
Attorneys from both sides have recommended probation, in lieu of a straight sentence.
But Chief Justice Michael Kruse noted that Faimata has another matter pending in High Court — a probation revocation hearing set for this morning — and ordered a continuance to await the outcome of that hearing.
Faimata was placed on probation in 2013 and he has already admitted to violating conditions of that probation. His criminal history involves convictions for burglary and stealing.
Co-defendants Sharnel Sagote and So'o Savelio appeared in High Court this week for a Change of Plea hearing.
Sagote's case was called first. A plea agreement was announced, whereby Sagote would agree to plead guilty to an amended count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), and the remaining count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute would be dismissed.
With his guilty plea, Sagote admits that on Nov. 1, 2018, he had in his possession two small baggies containing methamphetamine.
Chief Justice Michael Kruse called attorneys from both sides to the bench and a brief discussion was held. Afterwards, it was announced that a continuance is set for Feb. 12
Both men remain in custody at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF).
When the pair made their initial appearances in District Court two months ago, Judge Fiti Sunia established bail for Sagote at $10,000 while Savelio was remanded to custody without bail, due to his immigration status. According to a report from the Immigration Office, which was provided to the court, Savelio entered American Samoa on a 30-day permit in November