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Court Report


District Court Judge John Ward has denied a motion for a new trial on the government’s case against a woman who was recently convicted by a jury for assaulting an elderly man. Karenmary Melendez’s lawyer Assistant Public Defender  Donna Clement, asked the court for a new trial, stating the government’s evidence was insufficient and the court had allowed an improper character, stating the defendant had struck the complaining witness’s dog, on his property.

Assistant Attorney General Camille Philippe said the government opposes the new trial motion.

After hearing from both lawyers after a brief recess, Ward denied the motion stating that the court believes the evidence presented was insufficient. Ward also reminded the defense they can now file an appeal with the High Court, if they wish.

The defendant was ordered to undergo anger management counseling, and pay a fine of $500 following her conviction. Ward placed her on 18 months probation and to pay restitution of $150 (for Fuimaono’s medical bills). Melendez was found guilty of third degree assault, in connection with an incident which occurred last year April, where she’s accused of assaulting an 86 year old man from Nu’uuli.

During the hearing the complaining witness, Mafo’e Fuimaono, told the jury, when he was visiting his plantation, he saw his dog being attacked by Melendez’s dogs and on top of that, the defendant struck his dog with a 2x4. The next day Fuimaono’s dog was gone and when he approached Melendez, she struck him with a 2x4, which landed on his sides and his back.


A man accused of raping his wife and holding her against her will, will be arraigned before the High Court Monday morning. The defendant whose name has been withheld to protect the identity of the victim, faces felony charges of rape, first-degree sexual abuse, attempted kidnapping and false imprisonment. The criminal charges are in connection with a domestic dispute that occurred earlier this month, where the defendant had accused his wife of having an affair.

According to the government’s case the defendant confronted his wife about the affair at her workplace. It’s alleged that after the confrontation, the woman was taken to the Social Services shelter and several days later, she was released, where she then lived with her relatives. The police affidavit says when the man visited the wife he allegedly forced her to have sex with him and because she was scared of her husband she just let her husband do what he wanted.

It's alleged that the couple agreed to go home and discuss their marital problems.  While on the road, it’s alleged that the defendant asked one of his friends for a ride, and according to court affidavits, the woman screamed for help when the defendant tried to push her into the vehicle.

 It's alleged that while the victim was screaming, the defendant placed his hand over her mouth and forced her into the vehicle.

 The husband is being held on bail of $35,000 waived his rights to a preliminary examination before the District Court. He’s represented by Assistant Public Defender Donna Clement while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Celia Reyna.


A man who is facing weapon charges after he pointed a gun at a relative, waived his rights to a preliminary examination hearing before the court. Lomitusi Filiga of Asili and Fagatogo, is facing weapon charges of unlawful use of a weapon, possession of an unlicensed firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and third-degree assault.

Filiga who allegedly pointed a handgun at his relative, while he was under the influence of alcohol, will be arraigned in the High Court Monday morning.

The weapon charges are in addition to the public peace disturbance he faces. The police affidavit states the defendant claims he was just playing around with the gun and did not mean to scare anyone with the weapon. After the defendant allegedly pointed the gun, the complaining witness walked over to the Police station and filed a complaint.

The unlicensed firearm was confiscated by police the day the alleged incident occurred. Filiga is represented by Assistant Public Defender Donna Clement while prosecuting is Assistant Attorney General Celia Reyna.