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Court sentences man to 120 days for assault — probation not proper for you, says Judge Sunia

District Court Judge Fiti Sunia

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who has been placed on probation more than once will spend the next 3 weeks sitting at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) in Tafuna, after Judge Fiti Sunia speaks.

Onosai Futi appeared in District Court last Friday, Feb. 1 for a pretrial conference, where he pled guilty to third degree assault, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

The remaining charges of private peace disturbance, third degree assault (class C misdemeanor) and trespass were dismissed, as part of a plea agreement with the government, which was accepted by the court.

Prosecutor Assistant Attorney General Jason Mitchell recommended a probation term of 12-months, and no contact with the victim, as the assault occurred at Futi's home.

"So where will he be released to?" Judge Sunia asked. "The court wants accurate information."

According to an Immigration officer who was in court, Futi has just petitioned for an ID renewal. But the defense claims that Futi's immigration ID doesn't expire until August 5, 2019

"Which is it?" Sunia asked, noting that Futi has a conviction from 2018.

According to the judge, Futi was released from prison in October 2018 and now he's back in court, only a few months later.

"He has served 97 days" of pretrial confinement and it is "apparent" that there's "no change in his behavior," Sunia said. "The court finds that probation is not the proper sentence for you," the judge added.

Futi was then sentenced to 120 days in confinement. He is credited with 97 days of time served, meaning he will serve out the remaining 23 days.

He will be released on Feb. 23 at 10am.