Ads by Google Ads by Google

Young mother convicted of assault appears for sentencing

Associate Justice Fiti Sunia

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young mother from Samoa convicted of assaulting another woman out of anger was ordered by the High Court to be a law-abiding citizen and attend and completed anger counseling to help with her anger problem.

Ginna Ah Ching, who was released by the court on her own recognizance in February of this year after the court accepted her plea bargain, appeared before Associate Justice Fiti Sunia Wednesday morning for sentencing.

Ah Ching was initially charged with one count of 2nd degree assault, a class D felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. However, under a plea agreement with the court, accepted by the court, Ah Ching pled guilty to the amended charge of 3rd degree assault, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

When given the chance to address the court, Ah Ching apologized to the court for her actions and requested a chance to continue her relationship with her husband and her children. She told the court that the 7 months and 19 days she spent in custody while awaiting the outcome of her matter taught her a great lesson.

She promised the court that she’s truly remorseful for what she did and that she will never break the law again.

Both parties requested a probated sentence.

Defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson told the court that his client is a suitable candidate for a probated sentence. Not only is she truly remorseful but also served 233 days in custody, which is a quite enough time for the offense to which she’s pled guilty.

Prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General, Kristine Soule told the court that the government was able to speak with the victim in this matter and she supports the idea of placing the defendant on probation. Soule said that according to the victim’s statement, the matter between her and the defendant has been reconciled and she doesn’t want any more period of detention for the defendant.

The court acknowledged submissions from both parties and sentenced the defendant to a term of imprisonment of one year. Execution of sentence is suspended and Ah Ching is place on probation for two years subject to several conditions of the court.

Ah Ching is ordered to serve 90 days at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF), she will be credited for the 233 days she already served. She shall attend and complete anger counseling, pay a $500 fine within the first 6 months of her probation and continue being law abiding.

According to the court, the defendant had a prior class B conviction in District Court two and a half years ago.

The court reminded the defendant that she has 5 more months remaining on her suspended sentence and if she decides to violate any conditions of her probation, the court will make sure she serves the remaining balance of her suspended sentence.

Chief Associate Judge Mamea Sala Jr and Associate Judge Tunupopo A. Tunupopo assisted Associate Justice Fiti Sunia on the bench.