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Uncle who punched his 11-yr-old nephew pleads guilty to felony child abuse

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 29-year-old man accused of punching his 11-year-old nephew and then striking the boy with the flat end of a machete has entered into a plea agreement with the government.

Afasene Hunkin, who has been in custody since his arrest, unable to post a $5,000 surety bond appeared before Associate Justice Fiti A. Sunia for a Change of Plea hearing.

Hunkin was initially charged with abuse of a child, a class D felony that carries a jail term of up to 5 years, a fine of $5,000 or both; and third degree assault, a class A misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to $1,000 or both.

But under a plea agreement with the government, accepted by the court yesterday morning, Hunkin pled guilty to the felony charge of abuse of a child.

With his guilty plea, Hunkin admits that on Feb. 2, 2019 he punched his 11-year-old nephew, causing injuries to his body.

The case was reported to the DPS Leone substation  after the victim, ran to a nearby house “seeking help” claiming his uncle (the defendant) had “hit him with a machete”.

Hunkin was apprehended and taken to the Leone substation. Cops say he reeked of alcohol.

During questioning, the victim said he was talking to his grandma at home and "he was surprised to see the defendant walking towards him with a machete.” The boy claims his uncle "punched and hit" him, and he "became scared" and that's when he ran to his aunt's house for help.

According to the victim's grandmother — who is also defendant Hunkin’s mother —  she saw Hunkin approaching the victim, while holding a machete. She said Hunkin punched the victim "several times" and then "hit the victim with the flat side of the machete.”

Sentencing is set for Aug. 20th.