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Man spends 272 days in jail before coming to trial on burglary charge

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young man convicted of burglarizing a home and stealing several items worth a total of $2,239 was released from custody last week after the court decided that the 272 days he served while awaiting the outcome of his case is quite enough for this matter.

Tasilua Fue, who had been in custody since his arrest last year appeared in Court last week for sentencing.

Fue was initially charged with one count of stealing and one count of 2nd degree burglary, both felonies. However in a plea agreement with the government, accepted by the Court in September of this year, Fue pled guilty to 2nd degree burglary, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

When given the chance to address the court, Fue apologized for his crime and asked the court for another chance to return home to be with his family and seek employment to provide food for his parents and young siblings. The many months he served in custody taught him a good lesson that stealing other people’s property is against the law.

He told the court that he’s truly remorseful for what he did and he will not violate any laws in the future.

The defense attorney asked the court for a probated sentence without any additional period of detention. He informed the court that his client has served 272 days at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) while awaiting the outcome of his case.

The defense attorney further stated to the court that his client is truly remorseful for his crime and he take full responsibility for what he did.

The prosecutor echoed the defense’s submission and told the court that the defendant is a suitable candidate for a probated sentence.

When questioned about the defendant’s immigration status, the defense attorney informed the court that based on the information he received from the government, a request to renew the defendant’s immigration status has already been filed at the Immigration Office by the defendant’s mother. The only thing left is for the defendant to take his photo for his immigration identification (I.D).

The prosecutor confirmed to the court that a petition to renew the defendant’s ID was filed at the immigration office while the defendant was in custody.

After reviewing submissions from both parties, along with the defendant’s statement and the Pre Sentence Report, the court stated that the defendant’s conviction stems from an incident where he unlawfully entered into the home of another person and stole several items which cost over $2,239.

The good news is, according to the court, the stolen items were recovered by cops and returned to the owner.

Based on the information from the PSR, the defendant did not complete school, he was unemployed and living a simple life before he was arrested for his crime. While he was in custody, his family filed a motion at the immigration office to renew his immigration status.

So now, according to the court, the defendant is now a lawful resident in the territory for another year, with the only thing left for him to fully become lawful in the territory is to take his photo for the I.D.

Fue was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment. Execution of the sentence was suspended and the defendant was placed on probation for 5 years subject to several conditions. He’s ordered to serve 20 months at the TCF. He will be credited for the 272 days he already served while awaiting his case. The court will defer the balance of detention. The defendant was released from custody forthwith after his sentence was announced.

He’s ordered to pay a $2,000 fine within the first 12 months of his probation. Other conditions are for the defendant to remain law abiding, no contact with the defendant and seek and remain gainfully employed.

The court reminded the defendant that there is a lot of detention time remaining for his probation and if he violates any of the conditions of his probation at anytime, he would be ordered to serve all the remaining period of his imprisonment terms of over 4 and half years.