Woman accused of assaulting her drunken husband

COURT REPORT
ausage@samoanews.com

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Taken into custody last Thursday night by police, was a mother of three from Fagaima, for allegedly assaulting her drunken husband, who had come home and wanted to cause trouble with her.

The 41-year-old woman made her initial appearance in District Court last Friday on one count of third degree assault and private peace disturbance. Her attorney, Assistant Public Defender Kate Hannaher entered a not guilty plea to both charges, and asked the court to release her client on her own recognizance. Prosecutor Bianca Lherisson did not object to the defense’s motion.

The government claims that the charges against the defendant stem from an incident that involved her and her husband, and it began with a verbal argument between the two, after the husband came home very drunk and tried to question his wife about issues pertaining to their family, including how their money is being spent.

And while it was the husband who started the verbal argument, it was the wife that initiated the physical confrontation by pushing the man down and punching his face multiple times.

A family neighbor called police for assistance after they overheard the woman yelling profanity from inside their house.

Police arrived a few moments later and found the husband sitting on a chair outside of the house with blood on his face. When police asked the husband what happened to his face, he explained that his wife had punched him multiple times.

Neighbors told police that this is not the first time the couple has fought, and in a previous incident, the woman allegedly assaulted her husband, as she is bigger than him.

While the defendant is released on her own recognizance, the court has ordered that she find another place to stay while her case is pending. She is also ordered not to make direct or indirect contact with her husband without the court’s permission.

To protect the identity of the victims in domestic cases, Samoa News does not identify the parties by name.

SANI TULI

After violating conditions of probation from a previous case,  Sani Tuli was ordered last week to serve 30 days — without release — at the Territorial Correctional Facility.

At sentencing last Thursday, District Court Judge Fiti Sunia explained that Tuli was sentenced to 16 months probation, after being convicted in Feb 2017 for public peace disturbance.

However, about 6 months after that, the defendant was again charged (September 2017) for misdemeanor public peace disturbance and was sentenced to 18 months probation. Then last month, the Probation Office filed a motion in court to void the defendant’s probation for failure to comply with all conditions of his probation.

In its motion, the Probation Office informed the court that Tuli tested positive for marijuana. Additionally, Tuli failed to visit the Probation Office once a month and did not attend and complete anger management as well as alcohol counseling classes.

Sunia agreed with the Probation Office and Tuli was sentenced to 30 days in jail without release.

Upon release from detention, Tuli is ordered to comply with all conditions of his 18-month probation, especially the condition to stay clean and sober.

MAVAEGA FONOTI

A man accused of cursing and causing a disturbance in his neighborhood on Nov. 26th has been charged with three misdemeanor counts of public peace disturbance, resisting arrest, and escaping from confinement.

According to court information, police received several calls from neighbors regarding Mavaega Fonoti, who was swearing at them and causing trouble. When police went to look for him in Ili’ili, the defendant allegedly took off.

Fonoti was later found in his home.

Police escorted him outside, but he broke free and ran down the road. The cops were able to apprehend him and take him to the Tafuna police substation, where Fonoti complained of pain in the abdominal area and breathing problems. He requested medical assistance and the EMS showed up.

The defendant then requested further medical treatment at LBJ Hospital and EMS transported him there, according to court documents, which also states that police called ahead to notify LBJ security.

Upon arrival at the hospital, Fonoti fled before he could be treated by medical professionals, the government alleges. The defendant was later apprehended.

After his initial appearance before District Court Judge Fiti Sunia last week, the defendant was released on his own recognizance under special conditions that include no contact with the government’s witnesses.

Fonoti is scheduled to appear in court on Mar. 29 at 8:30am for a pretrial conference.

KAMU ANESI

A young man who is accused of stealing a carton of cigarettes from an Asian store in Tafuna has been charged with misdemeanor stealing and public peace disturbance.

Kamu Anesi made his initial appearance before District Court Judge Fiti Sunia last week, where his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ryan Nelson requested that his client be released on his own recognizance.

The motion was granted by the court under certain conditions —Anesi is to remain drug and alcohol free, and he is not to have any direct or indirect contact with the government’s witnesses, or try to enter the Asian store where the incident is alleged to have happened.

According to the government, it was around 11:00 p.m. on Mar. 14, 2018 that police got a call that an intoxicated man stole items from an Asian store in Tafuna.

The storeowner told police the defendant came in asking for a carton of cigarettes and after she placed the item on the counter, Anesi put it in his backpack.

Afterwards, the defendant asked for a case of beer.

When the owner walked towards the back to get the beer, Anesi fled, and the owner chased after him for payment of the cigarettes.

The defendant was apprehended and placed in the storeowner’s car to await police, after Tafuna residents who witnessed the chase assisted in his capture.

The storeowner told police this was not the first time Anesi has done this at his store. He told police that around Christmas last year, Anesi walked into the store late at night asking for beer, but he told him that it was past 10:00 p.m. and he couldn't sell him beer because he was too drunk.

While the owner was talking on the phone, the defendant allegedly took a pack of cigarettes and walked away. The next morning, Anesi’s mother went to the store and apologized to the owner, before paying for the pack of cigarettes.

Anesi’s next court appearance is set for Mar. 29th.

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