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Court Report



District Court Judge John Ward has set a $500 bail for a man accused of biting his wife’s right eye, while he was intoxicated last week. Samoa News is withholding the defendant’s name to protect the identity of the victim.


The defendant made his initial appearance in the District Court earlier this week and is charged with third degree assault for domestic violence and public peace disturbance.  


According to the government’s case, the matter was reported to police a day after the incident occurred. The victim’s mother told police that she was in her room praying when the defendant walked in with a Black Flag spray telling her that his wife (the victim) had sprayed bugs and his food.


The woman told the defendant to stop arguing, then the defendant left the room. Court filings state that the woman then heard noises and when she entered the sitting room, the defendant allegedly picked up his wife and threw her on the floor. It's alleged the defendant then strangled the victim.


The victim’s testimony to police corroborated what her mother told the police. The victim also told the police that her husband bit her right eye and when their nine-year-old son jumped on the defendant’s back, he turned around and swore at their son. Assistant Attorney General Lornalei Meredith Fanene who’s prosecuting anticipates the government may file additional charges in this matter.




A man accused of striking another man with a beer bottle who pled guilty to third degree assault in a plea agreement was sentenced to two years probation.


Michael Tui is represented by Assistant Public Defender Mike White while prosecuting for the government was Assistant Attorney General Kimberly Hyde. Tui was initially charged with second degree assault, but pled to the reduced charge of third degree.


During sentencing on Thursday, the defendant apologized to the victim for his actions. Associate Justice Lyle L Richmond sentenced the defendant to two years probation, a $500 fine, and he must pay restitution of $382.50 for the victim’s medical bill. According to the government’s case, a witness told the police that an altercation occurred and the defendant struck the victim on the head with a beer bottle. 




Alesana Utuone 31, held on bail of $50,000 was arraigned in the High Court on charges of first degree assault punishable from 10 to 30 years in jail. He is also charged with public peace disturbance, a misdemeanor which carries a jail term of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.


During his case, the defendant denied the charges against him, by entering a not guilty plea. He asked the court through his lawyer for a pre-trial conference date in 60 days.


The matter is now scheduled for July 6, 2013. According to the government’s case, the victim was getting off an aiga bus when he was allegedly struck on the neck with a machete by the defendant.


The defendant admitted to the police that he struck the victim. “He told me that he planned to fa’auma (finish off) the victim,” stated the investigator in court filings. The victim, who has been at the ICU since last Wednesday, suffered a 15 centimeter laceration with a five-six centimeter cut on the right side of his head below his right ear.