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Ex-wife awaits first court appearance after allegedly yelling profanities

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A woman accused of threatening her ex-husband and another female was arrested and held at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) to await her first court appearance.

Mariaiva Ma’alona made her initial appearance before District Court Judge Pro Temp, Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde yesterday morning where she denied the allegations against her.

The government has charged Ma'alona with 6 misdemeanors: 2 counts of public peace disturbance; 2 counts of 3rd degree assault; trespass, and resisting arrest.

Ma’alona’s defense attorney Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson asked the court to release his client on her own recognizance; however, government attorney, Assistant Attorney General Biance Lherisson opposed the defense’s motion.

Anderson argued that his client is not a flight risk, and she isn't someone who is harmful to the community. He said if the court releases his client on her own recognizance, he will make sure she is present during all her court appearances.

Lherisson on the other hand told the court that if the defendant is released from the TCF, she will return to where the alleged incident occurred and do the same thing. She asked the court to set bail at $500 to make sure the defendant doesn't commit a repeat of the alleged incident.

Judge Pro Temp Tauiliili-Langkilde granted the government’s request and set bail at $500. If she is able to post bond, Ma'alona has to comply with several conditions set by the court, which includes no direct or indirect contact with all government witnesses, and she is not to attempt to return to where the alleged incident occurred.

She also has to find some other place to stay while her case is pending. Furthermore, Ma'alona is ordered not to depart or attempt to depart the territory, and she must be present during all court appearances and stay in close contact with her attorney.

According to the government’s case, on Friday, June 9, around 10:24 p.m. the defendant’s ex-husband contacted the Fagatogo Police Station for assistance, after his ex-wife, allegedly under the influence of alcohol, was making noise — including yelling profanities — at his home.

People living in surrounding homes were alarmed by the loud noise.

Several police officers arrived at the scene a few moments later to render assistance.

When police arrived, they observed Ma'alona sitting and yelling at her ex-husband who told police that he had been trying to ask his ex-wife to leave but she refused, and continued to yell profane words.

The ex-husband also informed police officers that he wanted his ex-wife removed from his residence to prevent any further breach of peace.

When asked by police to stand up, Ma'alona allegedly refused. When officers attempted to apprehend her, she resisted by trying to yank her hands free.

Cops were finally able to secure her in a police unit and transport her to the Fagatogo Station for questioning.

En route to the police station, the court affidavit says Ma'alona kept yelling profanities at the cops and told them, “You guys are stupid."

The court affidavit says cops detected a strong odor of alcohol from the defendant, who allegedly offered one of the cops $300 if that officer could drop her off at a friend’s home.

The government claims that Ma'alona made verbal threats to her ex-husband and another female, who is a family member.

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