Govt aims to file additional charges against man accused of PPD in stabbing
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 47-year-old man was charged last month in District Court after he allegedly stabbed a man at a friend’s house. The victim sustained wounds on his right arm and left shoulder and was admitted to the surgical ward.
During his initial appearance in court, Joseph Mika entered a not guilty plea to the single charge of private peace disturbance, a class A misdemeanor.
The government’s attorney, however, informed the court that additional charges would be filed against Mika after police complete their investigation, which includes interviews with eyewitnesses who were at the scene when the alleged crime occurred.
The additional charges, according to the prosecutor, would include a felony and other misdemeanor charges related to the unlawful use of a dangerous weapon.
The court set a bond of $2,500 for Mika; however, if the additional charges net a felony count, the bond amount will be increased.
If the defendant is able to post bond, the courts says he is subject to the usual conditions, including he is not to be armed with a dangerous weapon.
According to the court affidavit, it was 4:28 p.m on Aug. 28, 2021 when the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call from a nurse at the LBJ Hospital Emergency Room (ER), reporting a man was being treated and admitted after being stabbed.
When police approached the victim at the surgical ward, according to the court affidavit, at first, the victim declined to file a complaint against Mika, because he said this isn't the first time Mika has assaulted him and he fears that he will hurt him again if he files a complaint. The victim lives on the defendant’s land.
According to the victim, he moved to his friend’s house in Leone about five days prior to the incident because Mika came to his house drunk and instructed him to leave his house and land. On the day of the alleged stabbing, Mika showed up at his friend’s house very drunk, and insisted on talking to him outside about why he had moved to his friend’s house without notifying him.
During the conversation, the defendant allegedly accused the victim of spreading rumors that he (Mika) is involved in burglarizing two homes in their neighborhood. This led to a verbal argument between the defendant and the victim, which led to Mika suddenly stabbing him in his arm and shoulder. The victim told police when he realized Mika had stabbed him, he tried to ask him why, but Mika took off and left him in shock.
When questioned by police at the TPS, Mika denied stabbing the victim, saying he cut himself while arguing with the victim and when the victim tried to confiscate the knife from him, he accidentally stabbed himself.
The court affidavit notes that investigators could smell a strong odor of alcohol on the defendant’s breath and his eyes were bloodshot.
The victim was at the hospital for three days before he was discharged.
The defendant is scheduled to appear in court next week to face additional charges the government anticipates filing against him.