Court revokes Siaumau Jr’s release on bond
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Chief Justice Michael Kruse has granted the government’s motion to revoke Elliott Siaumau Jr’s release on bond. The court however, has continued the government’s motion to forfeit bond because evidence and more information are needed before a ruling can be issued.
Siaumau Jr. — who is facing charges in 4 pending felony cases — appeared in High Court last Friday for two separate hearings: arraignment for the 2 new matters filed against him, and a hearing to forfeit the 2 bonds he posted.
Prosecuting the case is Assistant Attorney General Christy Dunn, while Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson is representing the defendant.
In the first case, Siaumau Jr. is facing 5 charges: second degree assault, 2 counts of first degree property damage (both class D felonies); and 2 class A misdemeanors: third degree assault and trespass.
In the second case, he is charged with unlawful possession of meth with the intent to distribute; and unlawful possession of meth.
Siaumau Jr. has entered a ‘not guilty’ plea to all the charges against him and his pretrial conference for the 2 new cases is Oct. 4, 2019.
MOTION TO REVOKE & FORFEIT BOND
Dunn said she filed the motion to revoke and forfeit bond on July 17th, after Siaumau Jr. was arrested July 12th for the 2 new cases.
Dunn said this is not the first time Siaumau Jr. has violated conditions of his release on bond and it appears that Siaumau Jr doesn’t respect court orders, as he continues to break the law while released on bond.
Anderson opposed the motion, saying all 4 pending felony cases against his client are just allegations, and his client has pled ‘not guilty’ to all the charges. According to Anderson, his client is not a flight risk, he’s been a resident of the territory all his life, and he has strong family ties on island.
He further pointed out that his client never missed any of his court hearings as ordered. He then asked the court to deny the government’s motion, and allow Siaumau Jr. to continue to be released on bond while awaiting the outcome of his 4 cases.
Dunn fired back and said the government’s motion is based on all the information contained in the affidavits for Siaumau Jr’s 4 cases.
GOVERNMENT RECAP OF CASES
According to Dunn, Siaumau Jr was arrested in Dec. 2017 for assaulting another man, and he was charged with second degree assault and first degree property damage, both class D felonies. For this he posted a $5,000 surety bond subject to several conditions — including that he remain law abiding and make all of his court hearings.
While this case is pending in High Court, Siaumau Jr was arrested against on March 12, 2019 on the allegation that he allegedly assaulted his cousin and stole his money.
For that case, Siaumau Jr is charged with first degree robbery, a class A felony, and two class A misdemeanors: stealing and third degree assault. He was released on a $50,000 surety bond, again including that he remain law abiding.
On July 12, 2019, while out on bond, Siaumau Jr was arrested at his Petesa residence during a police raid, pursuant to a search warrant from the court.
Subsequently, Siaumau Jr was charged with unlawful possession of meth with the intent to distribute, and unlawful possession of meth. Bond for that case is set at $50,000
It was during the raid that Siaumau Jr was also served a copy of an arrest warrant for a fourth matter, where he is accused of assaulting another man and destroying his vehicles.
He appeared in District Court last Thursday for the fourth case, on charges of second degree assault, 2 counts of first degree property damage, both class D felonies, and two class A misdemeanors: third degree assault and trespass. Bond for that case is set at $5,000.
Siaumau Jr waived his right to a preliminary hearing last Thursday, and his case was bound over to High Court where he appeared last Friday and entered a plea of ‘not guilty’ to all charges.
In the end, Kruse accepted the government’s motion to revoke Siaumau Jr’s release on bond. Kruse said the court was satisfied with the information provided by the government.
He then turned to Anderson and said “flight risk” is not the right argument for his client, but “danger to society is the right one.”
“Your client has been before this court for multiple assault charges. So, he’s a danger to the community,” Kruse said.