TONGAN WOMAN FACING DRUG CHARGES ENTERS GUILTY PLEA
A 55-year-old Tongan woman from Faleniu who claims she was to be paid for picking up a box from the Post Office, which customs agents had inspected and found methamphetamine inside, has entered into a plea agreement with the government.
Ventilate Motuliki, who remains behind bars on bail of $75,000, initially asked for a jury trial through her attorney Assistant Public Defender Mike White, however she opted to settle the matter with a guilty plea.
Motuliki is charged with one felony count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine with intent to distribute, which is punishable by up to 20 years in jail, a fine up to $20,000 or both. Prosecuting this matter is Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe.
In a plea agreement with the government, the woman pleaded guilty to the amended charge of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, which carries a lesser penalty
MAN ARRESTED IN SEX CASE INVOLVING WIFE’S SISTER
A 26-year-old man has been charged in a sex case that allegedly occurred in Mapusaga. The man is accused of touching his 12-year-old sister-in-law (his wife’s sister) inappropriately.
Samoa News is withholding the defendant’s name to protect the identity of the victim in this case. The defendant is charged with sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.
Court filings say the incident came to light when the victim’s mother contacted police noting that her son-in-law sexually abused her daughter. It’s alleged the victim was sleeping in the living room, when the defendant, who was intoxicated, touched the girl on her private parts.
During questioning, court filings say that alcohol odor came from the defendant’s breath. The defendant is held on bail of $10,000 and he is being represented by the Public Defender’s office whole prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Tony Graf.
MAN ACCUSED IN HAMMER DEATH WILL HAVE JURY TRIAL
A Faga’alu man facing first-degree assault and second-degree murder is fighting his case before a Jury Trial that’s being scheduled for February 15, 2015. Matulino Taualii was in court for his pre-trial conference when he asked for a jury date, through his attorney Public Defender Douglas Fiaui.
Chief Justice Michel Kruse asked why the government was moving to consolidate the two cases before him, where the first charge against Tauali’i is first degree assault and the second case charges the defendant with second degree murder.
Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe explained that the defendant was initially charged with first degree assault when the incident first happened, however a few days later the victim in this matter died and the government filed a new charge of second degree murder. Kruse granted the motion to consolidate the cases. According to the government’s case, the defendant allegedly struck the victim on his head with a hammer.
Court filings say the victim was in a drinking session in Fagaalu with Tauali'i when the argument occurred over a girl. The government further claims the defendant allegedly admitted to police that he struck the victim.