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When you’re stressed, "Don't go to the nearest bar or store for beer; instead, go see the doctor."

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Pago Page, AMERICAN SAMOA —  Judge Elvis P. Patea told Jared Kupu that the next time he's stressed, "don't go to the nearest bar or store for beer; instead, go see the doctor."

Last Friday, under a plea agreement, which was accepted by the court, Kupu pled guilty to private peace disturbance and the charge of third degree property damage was dismissed.

Attorneys from both sides recommended 12-month probation.

When asked to confirm what happened the day in question, based on the facts of the case that were read by Assistant Attorney General Jason Mitchell, Kupu said he didn't remember anything.

It was revealed that Kupu had a prior matter in High Court and he served out the entire probation term — and completed the counseling program — that was ordered in that case.

In the end, Judge Patea sentenced Kupu to 12 months probation and he is to seek mental health counseling "when needed, or when circumstances require".

He is also to remain sober, and pay $100 within 30 days.


"Stop dragging matters on… based on what may, or may not, happen in High Court." This was Judge Elvis P. Patea's statement to attorneys from both sides last Friday during court proceedings for Arborday Utulele, charged with third degree assault and property damage.

It was noted in court that Utulele has spent 53 days — as of last Friday — in custody at the Territorial Correctional Facility to await an order to show cause hearing to modify/ revoke probation.

He was on probation for two separate cases.

According to his case file, Utuleie was first charged in 2015 and for that case, he failed to appear in court and a bench warrant was issued. No disposition was ever carried out.

For the 2018 case, Utulele was scheduled for an OSC on two violations and there still hasn't been a resolution.

He is currently in custody for a matter that is pending in High Court.

Judge Patea has set April 16 as the next court date for Utulele.


A man who failed to appear in court for over 2 1/2 years was warned by Judge Elvis P. Patea that failure to appear for court hearings will earn him a trip to the TCF.

Seleti Leouiti a.k.a. Seneti Leuiti's appearance in District Court last Friday for a 2018 case "has saved you a trip to jail," said Judge Patea.

Leuiti is charged in two separate cases, one from 2017 and another from 2018.

According to his case file, a bench warrant was issued for his 2017 matter when he failed to appear for court. When asked why he didn't make his court appearance, Leuiti told the judge that he forgot.

"Forgetting is one thing, ignoring is another," said Judge Patea. "It's been 2 1/2 years. You knew you had a case, but you never came."

A pretrial conference is set for March 1.

Meanwhile, the bench warrant that was issued has been quashed and Leuiti is out on his own recognizance.