Man convicted for conspiracy to commit stealing, sentenced to time served
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man convicted of stealing lumber, cement, and electric tools was released from custody last week, after the court sentenced him to time served. Anetone Savili Jr. was initially charged with stealing and embezzlement, both class C felonies; along with trespass, a class A misdemeanor. But under a plea agreement with the government, accepted by the court, he pled guilty to the amended count of conspiracy to commit stealing, a class D felony, punishable by up to 5 years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
Savili Jr admits that on Mar. 15, 2019, he and two men stole lumber, cement and electric tools belonging to a man from Iliili. He said he assisted his two co-defendants by loading the stolen items on to his truck and transporting them to one of his friend’s homes in Ottoville without the owner’s permission.
Later that day, Savili Jr and his two co-defendants sold the stolen items at “Le Filifili” in exchange for drugs.
Savili Jr’s aunty testified that the defendant is like a son to her: he and his wife - with their kids and grandkids - have lived on her family land in Tafuna for over 30 years, and he is her right hand in everything. She said Savili Jr has a drinking problem and she’s advised him many times to change his life and stay away from alcohol.
When given the chance to speak, Savili Jr apologized and begged for another chance to return home to care for his wife and family. He said the 10 months he spent in custody have taught him a good lesson. He also apologized to the victim, and blamed his alcohol problem for what he did. He promised that if given another chance, he will never break the law again, nor will he congregate with his friends who drink.
Both attorneys recommended probation, saying Savili Jr is a suitable candidate. Defense attorney Rob McNeill said his client never benefitted from the items they stole. He asked the court not to order his client to depart the territory, due to his illegal immigration status; but instead, allow him to renew his immigration ID and find a job so he can care for his family and pay his fine and restitution.
The court noted that Savili Jr was convicted of unlawful possession of marijuana 10 years ago. The Pre Sentence Report (PSR) notes that Savili Jr was intoxicated during the time of the offense.
Savili Jr was sentenced to 5 years in jail. Execution of sentence is suspended and he is placed on probation for 5 years subject to several conditions. He has to serve 20 months at the TCF without any release. He is credited the 10 months he’s already served. The remaining 10 months are deferred until further order of the court. Savili Jr is also to pay a $1,000 fine within 90 days.
“Mr. Savili Jr, we don’t like to see people again. If we see you again, maybe that will be the last time you will see us. So don’t come back to court. Do something good with your life and for your future,” the court saiid.
Savili Jr was convicted of unlawful possession of marijuana and ordered to serve 20 months in jail, as a condition of his 5-year probation sentence handed down in 2009. That case came to light after police discovered a marijuana plant at his home in Tafuna, along with green leafy substances in his shack.