Family opposes Alameda County DA's plea deal for brothers' killer

Family members of two brothers who were shot and killed on the streets of Oakland in 2021 said they're worried they won't get justice.

Relatives said Alameda County prosecutors offered the suspect a plea deal that could drastically reduce the number of years the defendant faces in prison.

A sentencing hearing is set for Thursday.

Family members said they're angry and outraged. They said they will ask the judge to reject the plea deal.

"They worked to put a roof over their parents' head, over their family's head," said Fiti Mesui, the victims' cousin, "Every single paycheck they received went to their parents."

The Mesui family prepared to fight for justice for Suiti Mesui and his younger brother Manase. Their deaths leave a void that cannot be filled.

"It feels like we're reliving their funerals, sitting around broken. It's not the same," said Fiti.  

In the early morning hours of September 26, 2021, family members said 20-year-old Manase was involved in a physical altercation with an acquaintance, suspect Sam Veimau, in front of the brothers' apartment on High Street in Oakland. It's unclear what the fight was about.

But relatives said the two brothers were walking away when Veimau shot both of them. They died at the scene. 

"My boys aren't here anymore. I don't have Suiti to talk to anymore. This is something I think about a lot," said Sione Mesui, the victims' cousin.  


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Compounding the family's grief, relatives said they learned recently that Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price is offering a plea deal to Veimau that would reduce murder charges to voluntary manslaughter. 

They say if approved, Veimau would face a total of nine years instead of 25 years to life for each murder charge he originally faced.  

Fita said she's attended every court hearing in this case.

"I felt like I failed my family. I failed my brothers. I was outraged by it," said Fiti about the proposed plea deal.  

Fiti shared a video of Suiti coming home after a religious mission in observance of their Mormon faith. He was planning to get married before he was killed. 

Younger brother Manase loved to sing and spend time with family.

Both brothers worked in the family construction business.

"Angry. I was sad that this is what we've come to, all of it," said Fiti. "I feel betrayed by my city," 

Family members said the DA's office did not ask for their input in the plea deal and that they were told it's not up to the family to determine if a plea deal is good enough. 

The sentencing hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning at Alameda County Superior Courthouse in Oakland.

It is up to the judge to accept or reject the plea deal. 

Jeff Chorney, a spokesperson for the Alameda County Public Defender's Office, told KTVU the plea deal is appropriate and that his client, Veimau, acted in self-defense. "Had Mr. Veimau not shot the decedents, he and his family would not be alive today."  

Chorney said Veimau and other family members went to the brothers’ home over a domestic dispute.  

The attorney disputes that the brothers were walking away when they were shot and that one of them was armed with a shotgun.  

The family hopes that the case will go to trial.  

Price's office said it has no comment at this time. 

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU