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Enraged after his nephew was assaulted, man hits back with knife

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 30-year-old man accused of using a knife to cause head injuries to another man has pled guilty.

Filemoni Apelu was initially charged with felony first-degree assault, punishable by life in prison or at least 30 years. But under a plea agreement with the government, Apelu pled guilty to second-degree assault — still a felony — punishable by no more than 5 years in jail, a fine of not more than $5,000 or both.

He remains in custody at the TCF and will be sentenced Apr. 20th.

With his guilty plea, Apelu admits that sometime on Nov. 22, 2019 he used a knife to assault a man by stabbing his back and his left shoulder.

According to terms of the plea agreement, Apelu was told by a family member that his 14-year-old nephew was assaulted by their 36-year-old neighbor. Enraged, Apelu went to his neighbor’s home, punched him in the face, and struck him with a knife.

The victim sustained a deep cut on his back and was admitted to the LBJ Hospital where he spent 5 days in the Surgical Ward.

The government is recommending probation and $656.03 restitution to cover the victim’s medical bills.


A 34-year-old man accused of selling marijuana joints in front of an Asian store last year has pled guilty.

Cops arrested Frank Ulugia on Jan. 22, 2020 after an employee at an Asian store in the Tafuna area informed police about a man selling drugs outside in the store’s parking lot.

Ulugia was initially charged with two felonies: unlawful possession of marijuana, and unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. But under a plea agreement with the government, Ulugia pled guilty to unlawful possession of marijuana. In return, the remaining charge was dismissed.

With his guilty plea, Ulugia admits that on Jan. 22, 2020 in front of an Asian store in the Tafuna area, he had in his possession a small bag containing 10 marijuana joints. He further admits that on the day in question, he sold some marijuana joints to people he knew in the area.

The court asked the defendant what he did with all the marijuana joints he had, and Ulugia said he sold them to some of his friends and people who asked him for drugs. As part of the plea agreement, the government is recommending probation. Ulugia remains in custody at the TCF, unable to post a $10,000 bond.

He will be sentenced Apr. 25, 2021.