Convicted murderer arraigned in High Court — pleads not guilty
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A convicted murderer accused of stabbing another inmate with a knife last month told investigators that he has had the knife in his cell for about 3 years.
Faufano Faauliuli, who is serving a lengthy sentence for the murder of his brother several years ago in Aunu’u appeared in High Court last week for his arraignment, after he waived his constitutional rights to a preliminary examination before District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea.
During his arraignment before Chief Justice Michael Kruse, Faauliuli, through his defense attorney, Rob McNeill, entered a not guilty plea to the charge of 2nd degree assault, a class D felony, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
Faauliuli is scheduled to appear in court next month for his first pretrial conference.
The government claims that on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, a verbal argument broke out between Fa’auliuli and the another inmate, who is the victim is this case, after the victim had not returned things he had borrowed from Faauliuli.
Several inmates told investigators that Faauliuli and the victim are good friends. According to the inmates, they hang out together and do things together during meal time and many other times throughout the day.
Several inmates who were near where Faauliuli and the victim were arguing tried their best to sort things out between the two inmates. However, Faauliuli did not want to say anything more to the victim.
On Monday, Aug. 12, Faauliuli and the victim sat down to discuss what happened between them the day before. Finally, they worked things out and eventually shook hands and hugged afterwards.
Faauliuli then asked the victim to bring his stuff back, and the victim gave the things back to Faauliuli.
The victim told investigators that on Tuesday morning, Aug. 13, as he was conducting his personal hygiene, he was shocked when Fa’auliuli stabbed him in the back. He fought off Faauliuli and other inmates ran over to assist him.
When asked about the alleged incident, Faauliuli told investigators that he got really angry with the victim on Sunday when he went over to hang out with him (victim), and the victim told him not to bother him anymore.
Faauliuli told investigators that the victim is his only friend inside the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF). Not only did he trust him but he always shared what he had with him every time he asked him for anything.
Faauliuli further stated to investigators that they worked things out on Monday morning, but on the evening of the same day, he sat in his cell and started thinking about when the victim told him not to bother him anymore and got angry all over again. He couldn’t sleep and waited for the victim the next morning.
Faauliuli stated that when he saw the victim getting ready for his trustee duties, he grabbed the knife and walked over and stabbed him in his back while the victim was bent over the sink brushing his teeth.
Faauliuli stated that he couldn’t hold his anger back and just wanted to hurt the victim. He also stated that he has had the knife in his cell for about 3 years, and that was the knife he used to stab the victim.
Faauliuli is serving a 30-year sentence for the death of his brother. He was initially charged with first degree murder; however, under a plea agreement with the government, Faauliuli pled guilty to second degree murder.
Faauliuli used an electronic cord to strangle his sick brother who was lying in bed, and then he notified authorities. Faauliuli was the caregiver for his sick brother before he murdered him.