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Court Report


The government is continuing their investigation into allegations against a man who is alleged to have locked his wife and kids inside their home for an entire week. He’s currently charged with private peace disturbance and third degree assault; however Assistant Attorney General Lornalei Meredith says the government intends to file additional charges.

Samoa News is withholding the defendant’s name to protect the identity of the victims in this case. Court filings stated that on December 26, 2012 family members of the victims filed a complaint against the defendant noting that the victims, which included the woman and her five children, were locked inside their room and were not allowed to leave.

The family claims the defendant threatened to kill the woman and her children with a machete and burn them inside the house. The woman told the police that her husband had not slept for a whole week, and there were times where she and her children were sleeping, but were awoken to her husband flashing a flashlight on them.

Court filings state the woman told police that her husband’s actions were frightening and that she hid the machete, because she feared her husband may use it on the children.

According to the government’s case, there were no bruises, marks or any signs of physical abuse seen on the victims. The woman and her family are now in the custody of the government.  The defendant’s next appearance is scheduled for next week Monday.


Tala Maluseu, facing criminal charges on allegations that he strangled, shook and abandoned his one year old daughter on several occasions is now scheduled to fight his case before members of a jury on July 14, 2013.

The defendant was in court for his pre-trial conference when he asked the court for a jury trial date.

Maluseu, charged with first degree assault, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child has denied the charges against him. Bail for the defendant is set at $50,000.

According to the government’s case, police and social services responded to a call regarding possible child abandonment.

Its alleged that when police and CPS workers were let into the house where the child was allegedly left unattended, the police observed an infant 23-month old, alone on the floor, with a plastic bag around her neck, and another in her hand.

The landlord who contacted CPS workers, told the police that he was greatly concerned because the baby was left alone around 10 a.m. and the baby’s parents Imeleta and Tala Maluseu came back to the house but left again, thus prompting him (the landlord) to contact Social Services, because the baby had been home alone for a while and was crying loudly.

According to the government’s case, the landlord told the police the baby was left at home without adult supervision on several occasions, and that both the victim’s parents regularly physically disciplined the baby by slapping her.  Court filings stated that the defendant admitted to police that he and his wife left their baby daughter unattended on April 23, 2012 from 9 a.m. and they went to the store with their 4-year old daughter, and returned home shortly.

It’s alleged that on that same day, the couple again left the house around 11 a,m. to pick up their tax return checks, and returned home around 3 p,m., to find that CPS had taken their child away.

The defendant and his wife admitted to police that it was not the first time they had left their child home alone and without adult supervision. Mrs Maluseu told police that during Flag Day Week, in mid-April 2012, the defendant returned home from work late, and was disappointed to find that the baby was still awake.

Mrs Maluseu added that her husband tried to get their baby to go to sleep but that the baby kept crying, he became angry and held the baby up by the neck and started shaking the baby hard, says court filings. Mrs Maluseu screamed for her husband to stop but the defendant continued to choke the victim by the neck.

She said she ran for help next door but when she returned, her baby was unconscious and was turning blue.

Mrs Maluseu told police her neighbor helped revive the baby and that they never took the baby to the hospital following this incident because the baby seemed to be breathing normally again after their neighbor revived her.

The neighbor told police that Mrs Maluseu came to her door yelling and pleading for help to revive her one-year old daughter and when they ran to the defendant’s house, they found the baby unconscious and bluish in color in the defendant’s arms. The neighbor then grabbed the victim and helped revive her.

Assistant Public Defender Mike White says his client vehemently denies the allegations against him.


A signed plea agreement between Malaeola Folasa and the government has been submitted to the court. Folasa is accused of allegedly attempting to blow up the Morris Scanlan Gas Station in Utulei. He’s charged with first degree attempted arson and public peace disturbance.

The defendant was in court yesterday for his change of plea hearing before Chief Justice Michael Kruse who ordered the matter to be set for January 14, 2013.

Folasa, in his 30’s remains in jail on bail set at $20,000. Details of the plea have yet to be disclosed to the public.  

According to the government’s case, police were called to the gas station for assistance on Sept. 27, 2012, regarding some drunken men who were causing a disturbance. It's alleged that the men were upset that the gas station was not respecting the village curfew.

The government claims one of the men was the defendant, who was reportedly trying to blow up the gas station.

The gas station provided police with a surveillance video from the gas station where the defendant was seen repeatedly grabbing fuel pumps, and holding up a lighter with an open flame just a few inches from the fuel pump.