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Man pleads guilty to assaulting his wife — but he still claims it was her fault

American Samoa High Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The 40-year-old carpenter who was convicted of assaulting his wife by punching her in the face multiple times while he was extremely intoxicated told the court that she was the one who started the fight, which landed him a 3-night stay at the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF).

The defendant was initially charged with third degree assault, public peace disturbance, and endangering the welfare of a child, all misdemeanors. However under a plea agreement with the government, the defendant pled guilty to third degree assault, and the remaining charges were dismissed.

With his guilty plea, the defendant admits that on the night of the incident, Aug. 14, 2021, he assaulted his wife while intoxicated, by punching her in the face multiple times, pulling her hair, and kicking her in the back. The defendant further admits that his actions injured his wife.

When given the chance to address the court, the defendant apologized and asked for a second chance to continue to care for his wife and young children. He apologized to them and promised that this will not happen again. He did tell the court that it was his wife who started the fight.

He explained that when he confronted his wife about their children’s bank account, his wife acted strange and left their house while he was sitting at the table eating. On her way back to their house, his wife kept running her mouth about the issue before she threw a hard object at him hitting his back. He responded by assaulting her.

Attorneys from both sides recommended probation for 12 months.

The court accepted the defendant’s apology and placed him on probation for 12 months under certain conditions.

The defendant is ordered to be drug and alcohol free, and he has to submit to random testing. He also must refrain from harassing or threatening his wife and children and remain law abiding.

Furthermore, he is ordered to attend and complete an anger management counseling class, seek gainful employment and pay a $120 fine.