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Man says the devil living inside him tempted him to act violently

TCF — Territorial Correctional Facility sign
He gets 5-year probation that must be served outside of territory’s borders

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA —  A 46-year-old man from Samoa with a criminal history has been ordered to depart the territory and remain outside of its borders upon release from the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF), as a condition of his 5-year probation sentence.

Filemu Okesene, who has been in custody unable to post a $10,000 surety bond, appeared in court last week for sentencing.

He was initially charged with 2nd degree assault, a felony; and two misdemeanors: third degree assault and public peace disturbance. But under a plea agreement with the government, Okesene pled guilty to 2nd degree assault. The remaining charges were dismissed.

Okesene admits that on or about Feb. 13, 2019 he caused severe injuries to a 47-year-old Ottoville man, by striking his back with a piece of metal. Okesene said it was his anger that made him do it.

Last week, Okesene apologized to the court and begged for another chance. He said he has an anger problem that needs to be addressed through counseling.

“I want to go home to care for my wife and five children. I’m truly remorseful for what I did, it was not me who stirred up everything, it was the devil who was living inside me who tempted me to act violently,” Okesene told the court.

Defense attorney Ryan Anderson asked for a probated sentence, with the condition that Okesene attend and complete an anger management counseling program. Due to Okesene’s illegal immigration status, Anderson said he agrees with Probation, that his client needs to depart the territory and remain outside of its borders for the duration of probation.

Okesene has a criminal history — two convictions for third degree assault and property damage in District Court, and another conviction in High Court from 8 years ago when he assaulted his neighbor during a drinking session by striking the man’s head with a 2x4.

The defendant was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment. Execution of sentence is suspended, and he is placed on probation for 5 years under certain conditions. He has to serve 20 months at the TCF without release. He is credited for the 14 months he already served at the TCF.

Upon release from detention, Okesene is ordered to depart the territory and remain outside of its borders for the duration of his probation. A copy of the court’s decision shall be served to the Chief Immigration Officer to ensure that Okesene’s name is on the “lookout list”.