The superior court of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) has issued a sentence for Cook Sepeten Ham who was accused of stealing a poker player's wallet in February. Judge Kenneth Govendo sentenced Ham to one year in prison, all suspended except for 68 days for time served already.
Ham will also serve one year on probation, during which he's prohibited from drinking alcohol, and must pay a $250 fine, $125 in probation and assessment fees, and $235 in restitution to the victim. In addition, Ham was directed to perform 50 hours of community service and write a letter of apology to the owner of the wallet.
The sentence came after Ham had signed a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to the theft charges. In the agreement, Ham admitted to taking the victim's wallet containing $235 after it had fallen in a poker parlor.
Police said the victim was playing poker at Wild Orchids Poker when his wallet fell to the floor and Ham picked it up and fled. Ham then contacted the victim and demanded payment in return for his stolen wallet.
Editor's Note: CNMI is located in the South Pacific Ocean about three-quarters the way from Hawaii to the Philippines. An island territory, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands is joined in a political union with the United States and retains an independent government and constitution. The territory consists of 14 different islands, of which Saipan, Rota, and Tinian are the largest. As of July, 2005, its population was counted at 80,362.