Woman from Samoa charged with murder in D.C.
A Samoan woman who recently moved to Washington D.C. from Samoa — who is in religious training to be a nun — has been charged with first degree murder for the death of her newly born infant son, named Joseph, according to The Washington Post and various news media in the U.S. capital.
Electronic court records for the District of Columbia did not provide documents detailing the charges or other information. They do state that Sosefina Amoa, 26, was charged Wednesday with first-degree felony murder with bail set at $200,000. She was scheduled to appear yesterday afternoon before Judge Karen Howze for another hearing.
In a news release, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department said the infant was brought to a hospital by a woman last Friday morning and the baby was pronounced dead a short time later. D.C. media reports that the chief medical examiner determined on Wednesday this week the cause of death to be asphyxiation, prompting the felony charge to be filed.
Based on law enforcement officials and court documents, The Washington Post reported yesterday that Amoa had given birth in a room at the Roman Catholic mission in Northeast Washington after arriving earlier this month from Samoa, and she had started the process of becoming a nun.
Amoa told police she gave birth on Oct. 10 and the newborn began crying and, fearing the noise would alert the nuns, she covered his nose and mouth with a wool garment, according to documents cited by the Washington Post.
The next day, the woman sought out a nun from Little Sisters of the Poor and the nun brought a suitcase that was used to take the baby to Providence Hospital, where it was pronounced dead on arrival Oct. 11.
According to the Washington Post, the Little Sisters of the Poor run a boarding house and nursing home on seven acres across from Catholic University. Police said in charging documents that Amoa arrived in the U.S. from Samoa on Oct. 5, adding that Little Sisters of the Poor have a mission in Samoa, but it was not immediately clear whether the woman had been through the Samoa office on her way to Washington.
Police said the mother told them that she initially thought of putting the baby in the trash, but then thought that would be wrong, according to court papers, which also noted that Amoa told police that the black wool garment that was wrapped around the baby’s body when she placed him in the luggage was the garment she used to cover his face.
NBC4-TV News reported that Amoa had been receiving religious training to become a nun at Little Sisters of the Poor. It also reports that law enforcement officers found blood-soaked clothing during a search of Amoa's room at the convent, as well as a placenta with part of the umbilical cord attached. They said they suspect Amoa had cleaned up the room after delivery because there were only small traces of blood.
Additionally, Amoa told law enforcement officers that she last had a period in February and hadn't had sexual intercourse since April. She admitted she hadn't told the nuns at Little Sisters about her previous sexual encounters.
A statement by the Little Sisters of the Poor says this is a “very tragic situation for everyone involved” and they are praying for Amoa and the baby. They declined to comment further now that the case is with police.
THE NEW COMMENTS PROCESS
To make comments, you will need to register. You can register under your real name or use a 'screen' name. This way, people will be able to follow comments and make comments back and forth to each other. If you choose to use a 'screen name' no one will know your true identity. In either case, no email addresses will be available to anyone. It is an automated process. If you have questions, email: email@example.com
You currently are not logged in, please LOGIN to post comments.