Overstayer charged with attempted murder of his wife — claims she was having an affair
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 42-year-old man who drove his wife to Vaitogi late at night for the alleged purpose of beating and killing her because of his suspicions that she was having an affair was arrested last month.
During his arrest, officers discovered illegal drugs in his possession.
The government claims that the suspect’s plan to kill his wife was unsuccessful because the woman jumped out of the moving vehicle — and was rescued — on the main road in Vaitogi village. To protect the identity of the victim, Samoa News is withholding the names of all parties involved.
The man appeared in District Court last month for his initial appearance before Acting Associate Justice, Elvis P. Patea. A preliminary examination (PX) is scheduled for next Friday after the court granted the defense’s request for a PX.
The defendant is charged with unlawful possession of methamphetamine (meth) and unlawful possession of marijuana (pot), both unclassified felonies, punishable by a term of imprisonment between 5-10 years, a fine of up to $20,000 or both; along with one count of attempted murder and one count of second degree assault, both class D felonies, punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
The court set bail at the amount of $10,000, however during the defendant’s initial appearance, the court decided to change the defendant’s bail status from $10,000 to “no bail” due to his immigration status.
The defendant, a citizen of Samoa held an immigration status of P5 when his immigration ID expired 2 months ago.
According to information presented to the court, nothing has been filed before the Immigration Board so far to renew the defendant’s immigration status.
According to the affidavit, on the evening of Mar. 9, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call about a possible domestic violence matter in the Vaitogi area. The woman who contacted police for assistance stated on the phone that there was a couple involved in a domestic violence matter and the husband (later identified as the defendant in this case) attempted to stab his wife with a knife.
Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the reporter, along with a woman on the road in Vaitogi. The woman was later identified as the victim in this case.
After interviewing the reporter regarding what allegedly happened, the victim was then transported to the TPS for further investigation. The defendant had already left the scene before cops arrived.
The victim told police that after she and her husband (defendant) dropped off some family members along with their three children in Tafuna for a family meeting, they drove to a nearby store to buy cigarettes. While on the road, the woman said they got into a verbal argument over rumors that she was having an affair with another man.
She tried to calm things down and told her husband that there is no affair between her and anybody and she doesn’t know from where he (defendant) got these rumors.
According to the victim, her husband was intoxicated at the time. The argument grew louder and became more intense, to the point where the man became very angry. The victim said her husband was speeding, and overtaking 4 cars at a time on the road. She said she kept asking him where they were heading, and he kept telling her to wait and see what was going to happen to them both.
As the vehicle entered Vaitogi, the man told his wife that what she did was shameful and embarrassing, and he’s going to beat her up, kill her, and leave her body in a place where no one will ever find it. After saying these words to his wife, the victim stated to investigators that her husband told her that they’re going to Vaitogi to the area of the Turtle and the Shark so that nobody can see what is going to happen to her.
The victim told investigators that this was the first time she’s heard her husband speak this way, since they’ve been married, and she was scared, fearful that he was going to kill her. However, she said there were also times during their marriage that her husband beat her and almost killed her.
She said she didn’t want to leave him because of their children, however, as their relationship went on, things kept getting worse and she decided to put an end to the continued abuse by her husband.
The victim said that her husband slowed the car down, because of the many potholes on the road to Vaitogi, and her husband then stopped their car on a dark side of the road. Her husband instructed her to get out of the car. At that time, she observed her husband was very drunk and he had a hard time getting out of the vehicle.
She immediately opened her door, exited the vehicle and quickly ran in the direction from where they came, hoping that someone would help her or a vehicle would come on the road for rescue.
As she was running for her life, she said she saw a car coming in her direction at a slow speed. She quickly ran towards the vehicle, and pounded on the hood and window. The driver was a woman, who is also an eyewitness.
The witness stopped her vehicle and got out, while her daughter (who was sitting in the passenger seat) called for police assistance. As the witness approached the victim, the victim’s husband walked towards the two women and grabbed his wife by the hand, pulling her back to their car. The victim refused to go and cried out to the witness for help. The witness was able to convince the man that she would drive his wife home. Furthermore, the woman begged the defendant to leave them alone and go back home. She also told him that she would call police if he refused to leave.
According to the affidavit, the man looked angry, but he jumped in his vehicle and sped off. That’s when the witness immediately contacted police for assistance.
When investigators asked the woman if she had sustained any injuries from the incident, she said no, and requested to be dropped off at her parents’ home in Tafeta where she could spend the night with them.
The witness confirmed the victim’s account of how they met up and stated that as she spoke to the woman, she saw her body shaking while she was crying for help, saying her husband was going to kill her because of false rumors about her having an affair with somebody.
Police proceeded to the couple’s house in Taputimu to locate the defendant, however, he was not at home. Police visited the couple’s house early on the following morning and the defendant was still not at the house. Police searched for the defendant but he couldn’t be found.
Last month, one month after the incident, the victim, accompanied by her mother, went to the TPS to inform police that her husband was at their Tafuna home, sleeping in the small shack behind their house. The victim’s mother said she told family members to tell the defendant to get off the property — but he refused.
Police found the man in the shack behind his wife’s parents’ home, and he was then taken in for questioning. Before the defendant was taken into custody, he was patted down and during the body search, officers discovered a glass pipe containing white crystalline substance, along with a small stamp sized baggie containing green leafy substance inside the man’s pocket.
After the defendant was Mirandized he refused to make a statement.