Father is charged after 1-yr-old son at LBJ for meth intoxication
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Lewis Lokeni, 31, has been arrested and charged with unlawful possession of illegal drugs after his 1-year-old son was admitted to the LBJ Hospital for methamphetamine intoxication.
Lokeni, who is not new to the court system, made his initial appearance in District Court yesterday morning before Judge Pro Temp Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde. The government has filed two separate criminal cases against him.
In the first case, the government is charging Lokeni for endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to one year, or a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
In the second case, he is charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance (marijuana), and unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) — both felonies.
During Lokeni’s initial appearance, Tauiliili-Langkilde established a $1,000 cash bond for the case with the misdemeanor charge; and a $5,000 surety bond for the case where he is being charged with 2 felonies.
Lokeni’s defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ryan Anderson asked the court to reduce his client’s bail to $2,000 for both cases, but the government’s attorney opposed the motion.
Prosecutor Christy Dunn explained that Lokeni is not new to the court system, and his action in these two cases shows the type of person he is. Dunn then asked the court to maintain the bail amount for both cases, and Tauiliili-Langkilde agreed.
When a court marshal instructed Lokeni yesterday in the courtroom to sign the copy of the criminal complaint filed against him (in the case where he is being charged with 2 felonies), Lokeni refused.
According to the government, a 1-year-old child was rushed to the LBJ Hospital last month and later admitted for methamphetamine intoxication. A report from the hospital official was submitted to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) about the incident, and Detectives from the DPS Criminal Investigation Division (CID) were assigned to investigate.
Family members told police that the defendant smoked methamphetamine in the presence of the infant, and this caused problems to the child’s health and the child was later rushed to the hospital to see the doctor.
After receiving the information from family members, a criminal report was forwarded to the Attorney General's Office and a request for a warrant to arrest the defendant was sent to the court.
After reviewing the criminal complaint, District Court Judge Fiti Sunia issued an arrest warrant on June 1, 2018. Police officers then went looking for the defendant but he was not to be found at his residence.
Around 11:55 a.m on Tuesday, June 12, 2018, police officers observed Lokeni in front of a store in Fagaima, and they immediately approached and informed him of the warrant that was issued by the court for his arrest.
Lokeni was then escorted to a police unit, put in handcuffs and while being patted down for weapons, clear ziploc baggie fell from the front right side of his shorts.
Within the clear baggie appeared to be a 1-inch hand rolled joint covered with a piece of cardboard. Police also found a broken glass pipe (commonly used to smoke meth) containing white crystalline substance residue inside his hat.
The green leafy substance from the hand rolled joint was tested and came back positive for marijuana.
The white crystalline substance found in the broken glass pipe was also tested and came back positive for meth.
Lokeni refused to make a statement about the marijuana joint and the broken glass pipe containing meth.
He only spontaneously uttered, “O le a le aoga e koe fai ai se kala, ua maua a’u” (What is the use of saying anything when I’ve been caught).
Lokeni is scheduled to appear in District Court tomorrow morning for his PX hearing.
Lokeni was among the four men the High Court sentenced to 28 months imprisonment back in July 2013, after they were convicted for having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.
Lokeni, along with three other young men, were each convicted of sexual assault, a class D felony, punishable by up to seven years in jail, a fine of up to $5,000 or both; and endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor that carries a jail term of up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.
The incident came to light when a truancy officer at Lupelele Elementary School contacted police about a possible sex case after observing “love bite marks” on the girl’s neck. During the investigation, the victim told police that she had engaged in sexual intercourse with the four defendants, at different times, from August 2011 to April 2012. All 4 defendants, including Lokeni, admitted to having sex with the minor.