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Man fighting for his life following alleged attack

A man has been fighting for his life at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) since last week Wednesday when he was struck with a machete on his neck.


The defendant, who was arrested last week, Alesana Utuone 31, made his initial appearance in the District Court on bail of $50,000. Criminal Investigation Division Detective Leaupepetele Vili Fa’apouli was the lead investigator in this case.  


Utunoe of Auto, is charged with first degree assault punishable from 10 to 30 years in jail, and public peace disturbance, a misdemeanor which carries a term of up to one year in jail, and a fine of up to $1,000.


According to the government’s case, the 51-year-old male victim was getting off of an aiga bus when he was allegedly struck on the neck with a machete by the defendant. Witnesses told the investigator that they did not see the defendant strike the victim, however they heard the “swoosh” sound of the machete and when they turned around the defendant was running away with a machete in his hand.


The defendant admitted to police that he struck the victim. “He told me that he planned to fa’auma (finish off) the victim,” stated the investigator in court filings.


The victim, who has been at the ICU since last Wednesday, suffered a 15-centimeter long laceration with a five to six-centimeter deep gash on the right side of his head, below his right ear.


The defendant is scheduled to come before District Court Judge John Ward later this week for his preliminary examination. A PX hearing is for the court to determine if the government has sufficient evidence to have this case bound over to High Court for other court proceedings or disposition.