Aua incident sees man charged with first degree assault for alleged stabbing
A man is being held on bail of $50,000 on allegations that he stabbed a woman on her neck with a knife. Mikaele Lotu is charged with first degree assault, a class A felony punishable by life imprisonment or a minimum of ten years. He is also charged with third degree assault, a class A misdemeanor, punishable up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both, and Public Peace Disturbance, a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months, a fine not less than $150 and up to $500, or both.
The defendant, who’s represented by the Public Defender’s office, made his initial appearance in the District Court yesterday morning.
According to the government’s case police received a call about an alleged stabbing incident that occurred in Aua on Mar. 9, 2013. Police Officer Salefasa Matatule was assigned to investigate, and it’s alleged when police arrived at the scene, the officers observed the victim bleeding from her neck.
A witness told police that he was awoken by loud noises and when he got up he saw the defendant run up to the victim’s room and punch the victim. The witness said he then attempted to calm the defendant down, however the defendant ran back to the victim’s house and stabbed the victim on her neck repeatedly with a knife.
The victim told police she was trying to go to bed when she heard the defendant fighting with his girlfriend downstairs and heard them swearing at each other.
Court filings say the victim yelled to the defendant to keep the noise down and stop swearing, and that’s when the defendant ran upstairs and punched her on the head repeatedly, causing her to fall to the ground.
It’s alleged the victim claims when she was on the ground the defendant grabbed her by the hair and repeatedly punched her in the head. (Samoa News notes that it appears the defendant and the victim reside in the same house.)
The victim further states the defendant went back downstairs and continued to argue with his girlfriend and then he returned and stabbed her in the neck. The victim suffered a 7 centimeter laceration to the side of her neck and a laceration on her shoulder. Ten stitches were required to close the wound on the victim’s neck.
The victim also sustained bruising on her face and jaw and a cut on her lower lip. Court filings say police took photos of the victim following the incident.
Mikaele Lotu told police that he was drinking alcohol when he got into an argument with his girlfriend. He said that he heard the victim yelling, and admitted to punching the victim four times on the head, continuing to punch her when she fell down.
According to the government’s case, the defendant told police that when he left (after punching the victim) she continued to yell at him. It's alleged that this is the reason he became more upset and returned with a knife to stab the victim.
He further stated that someone pulled him away from the victim and that’s when he left the house and threw the knife into the trash nearby. Court filings say, the police were able to locate the knife that was allegedly used and turned it into the Police Evidence Custodian as evidence.
The defendant is scheduled to have his preliminary examination later this week. District Court Judge John Ward informed the defendant that this is for the court to determine if the government has sufficient evidence to proceed with this case in the High Court. Prosecuting for the government is Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe.
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