GRANDMOTHER ENTERS GUILTY PLEA IN ASSAULT CASE
A grandmother who assaulted her grandson using a billiard stick and other objects has admitted to striking her grandson. Priscilla Schwalger, A.K.A. Sila Aiono, was facing charges of second-degree assault, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, which is a misdemeanor.
In a plea agreement yesterday morning the defendant pled guilty to the felony charge, while the remaining count was dismissed.
During the plea agreement, the defendant admitted that between November 2011 and September, 2013, she assaulted her 11-year-old grandson using a hard object. She admitted that she struck her grandson on his head, his face and his body, and there was a time she used a billiard stick, a piece of 2X4 and a metal object. The assault left bruises on her grandson’s body and also left scars.
Assistant Public Defender Joel Shiver informed the court the victim in this case has since been returned to Samoa. Chief Justice Michael Kruse transferred the matter to the Family, Drug and Alcohol Court, given the victim is young and related to the defendant.
The incident came to light when it was reported to the police by Child Protective Services with the Department of Human and Social Services, and Detective Leaupepetele Vili Fa’apouli was assigned to investigate the matter.
Court filings allege the defendant began beating the victim when he moved into the Schwalger’s house at the age of ten and the last incident was Sept. 22, 2013.
The government’s case further claims that on Sept. 18, 2013 the boy was allegedly assaulted by the defendant, where she used a stick to hit the boy several times on his head, body and facial area. The “victim stated that he had injuries and the defendant kept on hitting him but did not take him to the hospital.”
On Sept. 22, 2013 around noon it was alleged that that boy had been assaulted for not memorizing his Bible verse. The victim was struck on the buttocks four times with a board and as a result, the victim’s buttocks and backside were swollen and bruised.
It's alleged the victim was unable to sit, lay down or use the restroom due to the severity of the beating. “The victim’s injuries were photographed, which showed new and old injuries including bald and bloody areas on his head, scars throughout his body and a deep bruise on his buttocks area.”
Court filings say the victim also recalled an incident where his grandmother struck his head with a stick several times for losing her pet chicken. “He stated that his head was bleeding but the defendant kept on hitting him.”
The victim’s sister told police that one time, Schwalger struck the victim with a billiard stick when the boy failed to deliver a message to their neighbor.
E.A stated that most of the time when he gets home from school” the victim had already been beaten with his head and face all messed up from the beating.”
LASALO TO BE SENTENCED IN APRIL IN CONNECTION WITH BURGLARY
Falaniko Lasalo one of the two men charged in connection with the break-in of an aiga bus on New Year’s Eve, has entered into a plea agreement with the government. Lasalo is charged with stealing, burglary and underage drinking and codefendant Falemoe Sioka was facing charges of felony receiving stolen property, and underage drinking, a misdemeanor.
During the plea hearing yesterday, Lasalo pled guilty to misdemeanor stealing and underage drinking. The misdemeanor stealing was amended from felony stealing.
Last week co-defendant Sioka pled guilty to misdemeanor receiving stolen property which was amended from the felony count of receiving stolen property.
In return for Lasalo’s guilty plea the government moved to dismiss the remaining count.
According to the government’s case, on New Year’s Eve 2013, it was reported to police that an aiga bus had been burglarized and police responded to the call in Mapusaga Fou.
Court filings say Lasalo and Sioka both admitted they had been consuming alcohol when the incident occurred.
Lasalo during the plea agreement told the court that following their drinking session they broke into the parked aiga bus and removed the audio system. Court filings say the value of the stolen items was between $900 and $1000.
ERIC NAIULI ARRAIGNED IN THE HIGH COURT
Eric Naiuli, charged with second degree murder in connection with an incident that occurred in Afono last week, was arraigned in the High Court yesterday morning. Naiuli is held on bail of $50,000 and is represented by Toetasi Tuiteleleapaga while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Tony Graf.
Pre trial conference for this matter has been scheduled for Mar 8, 2014. According to the government’s case, the defendant was in a drinking session and a fight broke out. The victim — who intervened to stop the fight — was struck on the head. The victim was transported to the hospital where he later died as a result of the incident.