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Man out on $200 bond back in custody for a matter in High Court.

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man who was out on a $200 bond is back in custody for a matter in High Court.

James Taito is set to appear in District Court Thursday, Feb. 21 for a pretrial conference. The date coincides with his scheduled appearance in High Court for a separate matter.

Taito is charged in the District Court with stealing. A bench warrant was issued for him by Chief Justice Michael Kruse on Dec. 28, 2018 after he failed to appear for a scheduled preliminary hearing.

At the time, Assistant Public Defender Rob McNeill told the court that his client was not in custody at TCF. He said he went to TCF personally and discovered that Taito was not there.

During that particular court proceeding, Kruse noted that there was no release form for Taito in his file.

A probation officer explained that Taito was jailed because of his immigration status but by Dec. 14, 2018, when he was set to appear in court, he had updated his immigration status, and he wasn't in custody because he had posted the $200 bond set in District Court by Judge Fiti Sunia.

Taito was involved in a burglary a few years back and for that case, he served his sentence out completely.


A man who ran from the cops in an incident that occurred in 2018 has pled guilty to resisting arrest, a class A misdemeanor.

Melvin Vee appeared in District Court last Wednesday for a pretrial conference. He was initially charged with resisting arrest and stealing. But under a plea agreement that was accepted by the court last Wednesday, Vee pled guilty to resisting arrest and the remaining charge was dismissed.

According to the government, in an effort to elude police, Vee ran so far that he ended up jumping in the ocean.

Judge Elvis P. Patea sentenced him to 12 months probation with standard conditions. In addition, he has to attend and successfully complete an anger management counseling program and pay $100 within 30 days.