Woman jumps out of moving car after husband threatened to kill her
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A 44-year-old farmer who drove his wife to Leone for the alleged purpose of beating and killing her because of his suspicions that she was having an affair with a bus driver was arrested last week.
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 Leone 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 week for his initial appearance before Judge Pro Temp, Gwen Tauiliili-Langkilde. A preliminary examination (PX) was scheduled for last Friday; however, the case was dismissed without prejudice after the government’s witness failed to appear in court.
This week, the government re-filed its case, and the man’s initial appearance was yesterday morning. He is charged with second degree assault and remains in custody, unable to post a $10,000 surety bond. A preliminary examination is set for this morning.
On the evening of Sept. 9th , the Leone Substation received a call about a possible domestic violence matter. The victim told police that after she and her husband (defendant) dropped off some family members in Tafuna, they drove to Leone. While on the road, the woman said they got into a verbal argument over rumors that she was having an affair with a bus driver.
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 2 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 Leone, 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.
The victim told investigators that since they have been married, this was the first time she’s heard her husband speak this way, and she was scared, fearful that he was going to kill her. The victim said that when her husband slowed the car down, because of a speed bump, she opened the passenger side door and jumped out of the moving vehicle.
As she was rolling on the ground, she said she saw the car that was behind them, coming in her direction at a slow speed. She said she got up quickly, ran towards the vehicle, and pounded on the hood and window. The driver was her father’s friend, who is also an eyewitness.
The witness stopped her vehicle and got out, while her niece (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.
According to the affidavit, the man looked angry. He jumped in his vehicle and sped off. That’s when the witness told the woman that she’s dropping her off at the Leone Substation for help. When investigators asked the woman if she had sustained any injuries from the jump, she said no, and requested to be dropped off at her parents’ home in Nu’uuli.
According to the witness, while on the road that day, the passenger door of the vehicle that was in front of her opened, and a woman jumped out. She said she stopped her car and told her niece to call the police. The witness said she didn’t get out of the car immediately, for safety reasons. But as soon as the woman saw her and called her name, she got out and approached the victim.
The witness told police that the victim was shaken up and in fear. She said the man walked up to them and tried to convince his wife to get back into the car but his wife cried out, “no” and “help”. The witness said she convinced the man to let her drive his wife to their home. The man then sped off and the witness drove the victim to the Leone Substation.
On Sept. 10th, the victim, accompanied by her mother, went to the Tafuna Substation to inform police that her husband was at their Nuuuli home. The victim’s mother said she told family members to tell the defendant to get off the property — but he refused.
Police pulled up to Nuuuli and found the man in a shack behind his wife’s parents’ home. He was then taken in for questioning but refused to make a statement.