MAN ARRAIGNED IN DRUG CASE
Calvin Tupuola has been charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance, marijuana which carries a jail term of not less then five years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both. The defendant was arraigned in the High Court yesterday morning where he denied the criminal count against him.
According to the government’s case, on December 20, 2014 police were patrolling the main road when they observed a two door white pickup truck driving in the middle of the main road. Further, the police observed the truck swerving into the eastbound lane and the driver was not wearing a seatbelt.
Police pulled the vehicle over in front of a store. Police approached the driver, Tupuola who appeared to be nervous with red blood shot eyes. Police called for backup. It is alleged that the defendant gave consent to search his vehicle and when the police conducted a search they found a green leafy branch approximately six inches in length located in the middle console of the truck.
The defendant told the police that he bought it from a friend for $20. Police also interviewed a passenger who was with the defendant who stated that defendant had picked him up and showed him the marijuana. Defendant’s pre-trial conference for this matter has been scheduled for next month.
MAN ARRESTED FOR BEATING HIS PREGNANT WIFE
A man is being held behind bars on bail of $500 on charges of public peace disturbance and third degree assault, which are both misdemeanors, on allegations that he assaulted his wife by punching and slapping her. In the interest of protecting the victim’s identity in this matter Samoa News is withholding the name of the defendant.
The defendant made his initial appearance in the District Court yesterday morning and is represented by Public Defender Douglas Fiaui.
According to the government’s case, the incident came to light when the defendant’s sister contacted the police informing them that her brother had assaulted his pregnant wife.
The sister told the police that their father had intervened and that’s when the defendant left the house, and then the officers were given information on the description of the defendant and the clothes he was wearing. Police came across the defendant in front of a store in Nu’uuli and apprehended him. He was identified him by his family members as the suspect in the matter.
The defendant’s wife told police that her husband asked her to light his cigarette and when she didn't return (immediately), he got angry and started beating, slapping and punching her. The wife went on to say that her father-in-law intervened and that’s when her husband left the house. Court filings say that defendant is five months pregnant.
MAN WHO STOLE VEHICLE APPEARS IN COURT
Associate Justice John L Ward denied bail for John Latanara when he made his initial appearance in District Court on allegations that stole a vehicle. According to the government’s case on December 29, 2014 police received a call from a man claiming that someone stole his vehicle that was parked behind a lodge in Ili’ili.
Latanara has been charged with public peace disturbance, however it’s unclear if the government is looking at filing additional charges against the defendant in this matter.
Court filings say that the owner of the vehicle informed the police that he heard someone making noise in his house, but when he went to find out who it was, the said person had left and then he heard his vehicle starting up, and when he went out to see who was taking off with his car, the vehicle was already speeding off.
That same day, the police spotted the vehicle in Ili’ili. Police then questioned bystanders in the area who noted that the defendant had parked the car and walked towards the school in the area. Police went to the area by the school as directed, and saw the defendant hiding in the bushes. Police went after the defendant, who took off on foot, however he was apprehended and taken into police custody for questioning.