Husband charged with felony drug possession and domestic violence
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A man accused of assaulting his wife and threatening to kill her with a knife was arrested by police and charged with assault involving domestic violence. However, when the defendant was apprehended, cops discovered illegal drugs in his possession.
(Samoa News has chosen not to identify the man due to it being an issue of family domestic violence as well as illegal drugs. He is named in court documents.)
The defendant, 44, made his initial appearance in court two months ago.
The government has filed two separate cases against the defendant.
In the first case, he is charged with one count of 3rd degree assault (involving domestic violence); one count of disturbing the public peace (involving domestic violence); one count of endangering the welfare of a child and one count of armed with a dangerous weapon (involving domestic violence; all misdemeanors).
In the second case, the defendant is charged with one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana; both felonies, punishable by imprisonment term of nor less than five nor more than ten years, a $20,000 fine, or both.
Due to his illegal immigration status and the nature of the charges against him, the court decided to hold the defendant in custody without bond.
The government alleges that on Feb. 20, 2021 about 7 a.m, a woman telephoned the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) requesting police assistance, reporting that her cousin’s husband was searching for her cousin with a knife in his hand and appeared to be agitated and was acting violently.
The woman further told police that she smelled a strong odor of alcohol from the man’s breathe when he came to her house looking for his wife (the caller’s cousin, who is also the victim in this case).
A few moments later, the same woman called TPS again and asked for police to hurry up because she fears for her sister’s safety, especially as her husband is walking around their neighborhood with a knife in his hand.
Two police units arrived at the caller’s home and met up with her regarding her request for police assistance. As the caller was speaking with the officers, her phone rang and it was her cousin (victim) who called to inform her that she’s heading to the TPS and wanted to lodge a criminal complaint against her husband (defendant) for all the threatening remarks he made and for assaulting her.
According to the court affidavit, on the same morning, an unknown woman walked into the TPS and identified herself to police officers stating that she wanted to lodge a complaint against her husband for assaulting her and threatening to kill her and her family.
Officers observed scratches on the woman’s facial area and both hands. Her left eye was swollen and she looked nervous and shaking. There were also bruises on the woman’s back and left thigh. Officers were able to calm the victim down, reassuring her that she was now safe under police protection.
During the interview, the victim stated that it all started after she dropped their children off at school and when she got back home, her husband was sitting on a chair in the living room holding a beer can in his right hand, and a kitchen knife in his left hand.
According to the victim, her husband had not been home for two whole nights and she didn’t know where he had been. She, however, did smell a strong odor of alcohol when she first entered the house, and immediately suspected that her husband was drunk. The woman also smelled a strong odor of marijuana inside the house.
As she walked towards her husband, she saw something unusual on the chair next to him — it looked like an object that could be used to smoke something.
According to the victim, she asked her husband about his whereabouts during the last two nights and also about the strong smell of alcohol and marijuana inside the house. Her husband told her that he was at his friend’s house and she had no business asking of his whereabouts. He’s the head of the family and at the same time supporting their family financially.
The woman said she replied that she wanted to move away with her children because she doesn’t want to deal with his problems anymore.
That is when her husband grabbed the object that was beside him on the chair and put it inside his pocket.
The victim asked her husband about the object, but her husband said it’s nothing and walked out of the house to the car.
After a few minutes her husband came back inside the house and that’s when her husband started damaging their front window and yelling at her saying it’s not what she thinks.
Her husband then opened the door to their room — she was lying on the bed — and pulled her hair and dragged her out to the living room before he punched her in her left eye before pushing her down to the floor. Her husband continued to kick her back, pull her hair and slap her in the facial area, while she was still lying on the floor.
The victim begged her husband to stop but the husband continued assaulting her by throwing punches to her body and also dragging her around.
The victim stated that she heard her husband saying, “I’m going to kill you with the knife,” and she saw her husband making his way to the kitchen. That’s when she stood up and ran outside to their neighbors for help.
The victim said her husband followed her to their neighbor’s house in his car, assaulted her and tried to force her inside the car, but she fought back. When she was free, she ran towards another family’s compound, but her husband then attempted to hit her with the car. The victim said she heard her husband saying, “Today is the day you and your family die.”
The victim ran to the house of another neighbor where she called her female cousin and notified her of the situation.
As the victim was speaking with her cousin on the phone, she saw her husband walking around their neighborhood looking for her with a knife in his hand, and told her cousin.
Several police officers went to the couple’s house in an effort to locate the suspect. They observed the couple’s vehicle parked in front of their house and they suspected that the suspect was inside the house. As officers approached the house, they could see from outside a person lying on the floor in the living room. The person matched the description provided by the victim to the police, including the suspect’s clothes and the color of his shoes.
The suspect was apprehended from the couple’s house and transported to the TPS for questioning. Officers could smell a strong odor of alcohol coming from the suspect when they apprehended him.
Before the suspect was transported to the TPS for questioning, he was frisked and officers found a glass pipe (commonly used to smoke meth) containing white crystalline substance inside his right pocket. Further search of the defendant’s body discovered a small baggie containing green leafy substance inside his rear pocket.
The suspect was Mirandized and when questioned as to the allegations, he told police whatever his wife wants to do, it’s up to her.
When asked about the glass pipe containing white crystalline substance and the small baggie containing green leafy substance found in his possession, the defendant said it’s illegal drugs and they belong to him.
The suspect also gave consent to search his vehicle parked outside of their house. During the vehicle search, police discovered a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance lying on the floor under the driver’s seat.
When asked if he had any knowledge of what was found under the driver’s seat, the suspect nodded his head.
The white crystalline substances found were tested and it revealed positive results for methamphetamine. The green leafy substance was also tested and it revealed positive results for Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active compound in the controlled substance marijuana.