‘This guy deserved the max,’ Mesui family protests Alameda County DA’s plea deal for brothers’ killer

A family working through grief took their pain to the Alameda County Superior Courthouse Saturday, protesting a plea deal offered to man prosecutors say killed two brothers in 2021.

"We are from Alameda County," said Angela Nisa. "We are from Oakland. We live here. There’s a lot of frustration and confusion. We don’t want this to happen to another family."

Relatives of slain brothers Manase and Suiti Mesui can’t understand why Alameda County prosecutors offered Sam Veimau a plea deal that drastically reduces the number of years he’ll face in prison.

"Two lives taken, and he only gets nine years?" questioned Fita Mesui. "My brothers deserve justice."

Upset with the plea deal, they showed their unhappiness with handmade posters and banners.

"The District Attorney’s Office failed our family," said Sione Mesui, the victims’ cousin. "This guy deserved the max."

In the early morning hours of Sept. 26, 2021, 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 has since come to light the fight was over an alleged case of domestic violence.

"The argument, in this case, occurred after Mr. Veimau and other family members went to the decedents’ home to save another family member from a domestic violence relationship," said Jeff Chorney, deputy public defender with Alameda County. "The brothers were not "walking away" when they were shot. Manase racked his shotgun, preparing it to shoot, and pointed it at another family when Mr. Veimau shot him to defend that family member. Suiti then grabbed the shotgun and pointed it at another family member, so Mr. Veimau was forced to shoot him as well. When first responders arrived, Suiti was still cradling the shotgun. This is undisputed," said the statement.


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

The family of two brothers killed in Oakland are upset at a plea deal proposed for the shooter.

After Veimau turned himself into the police, there have been numerous incidents where police believe the decedent’s associates have shot at Veimau’s previous home, and the home of defense witnesses. This became such an issue that the Hayward Police Department erected a large sign, that lit up at night, in the front yard alerting the shooters to the fact that Veimau no longer lived there.

The Meisi family did not want to talk specifics at Saturday’s protest but said they would have preferred this case go to trial.

"I don’t buy the self-defense claim," said Fita Mesui. "This should have gone to trial."

The family told KTVU the fact that the prosecution introduced a plea deal, erodes their trust in the court system.

"We could have had justice for the boys," family members said.

Court documents obtained by KTVU reveal that the case was assigned to Deputy District Attorney Natasha Jontulovich. 

During the plea hearing, Jontulovich told the court, she didn’t think a trial was necessary, adding, "I have watched every interview, spoke to witnesses, read every documentation and every single piece of evidence. I believe that if this case went to trial, that would likely be the outcome…we’ve discussed that this is an appropriate resolution based on the facts as we know them."