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Man convicted of PPD involving his sister — turns on his brother-in-law

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of assaulting his brother-in-law has been sentenced in District Court to 12 months probation, after he pled guilty to third-degree assault under a plea agreement with the government last week.

When given the chance to address the court, Taavili Laupama, who was out on a $200 surety bond, apologized for his actions, and begged for another chance to serve his family.

He also apologized to this brother-in-law and his family and asked for their forgiveness. Laupama told the court that he has learned his lesson — that breaking the law is not a good thing.

During sentencing last week, the government requested 12 months probation, and this would include the 18 days of pretrial confinement he served before he posted bond.

According to the court, it was May 21st, 2019 that Laupama was convicted of private peace disturbance after he got into an argument with his sister. However, seven months after he was sentenced for that crime, Laupama was charged with assaulting his sister’s husband in the presence of the victim’s young children.

The Court noted that it has become a habit for defense and government attorneys to request that pre-trial confinement be included in any court sentence.

It was also noted that of the many assault cases that have come before the court, it’s very rare to see a defendant charged with assaulting a relative in the presence of that person’s children.

As a condition of his 12-month probation, Laupama was ordered to serve 30 days in jail. However, the jail term was deferred based on Laupama’s good behavior.

Laupama was also ordered to pay a fine of $150, remain law abiding, be alcohol and drug free, and lastly, he has to maintain the peace at home for the duration of probation.

The court also make it clear to the defendant that if he violated any conditions of his probation, there will be no more chances for him but he would be ordered to serve the full suspended period of imprisonment.