Young mother found guilty of assault
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A young mother convicted of assaulting another woman out of anger was order by the High Court to be law abiding and attend and complete counseling to help with her anger problem.
Theresa Amani, who was released on her own recognizance in July of this year after the court accepted her plea agreement with the government, appeared in court last week for sentencing.
Amani 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, Amani 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, Amani apologized to the court for her action and requested for 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.
The defense attorney told the court that his client is a suitable candidate for a probated sentence. Not only is she truly remorseful but she also served 133 days in custody, which is a quite enough for the offense to which she’s pled guilty.
The prosecutor told the court that the government was able to speak with the victim on this matter and she supports the idea of placing the defendant on probation. She said that according to the victim’s statement, the matter between them has been reconciled and she doesn’t want any more jail time for the defendant.
The court acknowledged submissions from both parties and sentenced the defendant to a term of imprisonment of one year. Execution of the sentence was suspended and Amani was placed on probation for two years subject to several conditions.
Amani is ordered to serve 90 days at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF), she will be credited for the 133 days she already served. She shall attend and completed anger counseling, pay a $500 fine with in the first 6 months of her probation and remain 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.