Hubby alleges affair led murderer to escape TCF

A convicted murderer who allegedly escaped from the Tafuna Correctional Facility to engage in sexual intercourse with a married woman has been charged. The complaint filed against Maeli Isumu Pitoitua followed after the woman’s husband contacted police that an inmate had been seen at his residence in the early morning hours of June, 2013.

 

Isumu, who’s facing one count of escaping from confinement, made his initial appearance in District Court yesterday; he’s represented by Assistant Public Defender Matthew Trick, while prosecuting this case is Assistant Attorney General Tiffany Oldfield. The escape charge carries a jail term of up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000 or both fine and prison.

 

According to the government’s case, on July 15, 2013 the husband of the woman who is allegedly having an affair with Isumu, filed a complaint with the Department of Public Safety that Isumu was seen at his house and Detective Sgt Foma’i Paepule was assigned to investigate the  matter.  

 

Court filings say that on July 17, 2013 police spoke to the woman, who said she had ended her relationship with her husband to be with Isumu. “The relationship with the defendant began over the phone when the defendant called the woman’s phone on June 2, 2013 by accident.

 

“Since then the woman and Isumu, who has been incarcerated, spoke nightly around 10pm and in the middle of June they made a plan for the defendant to escape from TCF to engage in sexual intercourse,” say court filings.

 

It's alleged that on June 28, 2013 until the early hours of June 29, 2013 the defendant escaped from TCF and went to the woman’s house in Nu’uuli. Court filings say that Isumu arrived at approximately 7p.m. and left around 3a.m. It’s alleged Isumu would call the woman as soon as he made it back to the TCF.

 

One witness told police he was taking cash power around 8p.m. on June 28, 2013, to the woman in question, however when woman opened the door,  there was someone inside the house. The woman told the witness that it was Isumu inside her house. The witness told police he saw Isumu leave the jail and he knows Isumu because he has seen Isumu inside the jail when he visited his brother who’s in jail. He said he recognized the defendant due to the tattoos on his hands.

 

The government further claims that on August 2, 2013 the investigating officer spoke to Warden Lumana’i Maifea who said that he approved for Isumu to work on a project within the jail for his friend and these activities were logged on a book. “When the incident came to light, the Warden looked at the log book of activities, and the month of June is missing and nobody knows who took it."

 

The defendant "did not have permission to leave TCF and was not on work release,” say court filings. Police were able to obtain phone records between the defendant and the woman via a search warrant, which confirmed the calls between the defendant and the woman involved.

 

The government’s case further states the defendant is currently incarcerated after being found guilty of Murder in the First Degree and First Degree Assault, in January 2006.

 

BACKGROUND

 

Inmate Maeli Isumu Pitoitua was in jail for an incident that took place inside the Tafuna Correctional Facility in his 2006 conviction.

 

According to Samoa News archives, Isumu assaulted two inmates with a machete. He struck Senetala Lavasi’i on the head with the machete, and when Lavasi’i was on the ground, he continued to strike him. Another inmate, Lomiga Tautalaso’o, intervened and tried to stop the assault, but Isumu struck him, amputating four of his fingers.

 

He told police that he was mad at the deceased victim because the victim was having an affair with his girlfriend, a female inmate named Selina Ropati.

 

Isumu was to begin serving the two life sentences after he completed serving his jail time for his first case. He is not eligible for parole or probation in the life cases until he serves 40 years.

 

In his first case in 1999, Isumu was convicted of shooting a taxi driver when he was a passenger in the taxi. The taxi driver, who was shot in the head, miraculously survived the incident. 

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