Man accused of axe killing in Samoa changes plea

A man who had pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the death of his brother-in-law has changed his plea.

Joe Nielson is accused of using an axe in the alleged killing. In Court on Thursday, Nielson’s lawyer, TimaLeavaimade an application for his client to change his plea to not guilty.

In response, Supreme Court Justice Vui Clarence Nelson told Ms Leavaithe Prosecution team has indicated that if there were a change of plea, they would pursue the charge of murder against her client.

Justice Vuialso told Ms Leavai to make sure herclient understands that if murder is reinstated - and he pleads not guilty - the matter would be heard before a panel of assessors.

A conviction for murder carries a very severe penalty


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