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Man allegedly assaults wife who was mowing the grass, rather than cooking his meal

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The case against a man charged with private peace disturbance and third degree assault (domestic violence) for allegedly assaulting his wife earlier this week has been transferred to the Family, Drug, and Alcohol (FDA) court.

(To protect the identity of the victim, Samoa News is withholding the name of the defendant.)

According to the government's case, the incident was reported to police this past Tuesday in Leone.

Investigators claim that the defendant's wife was mowing the lawn on the day in question, when her husband came home for a break. (The defendant is a bus driver.)

The woman alleges that her husband  was "mad" because his food wasn't ready when he got home. The defendant allegedly approached his wife and yelled profanities at her in the presence of a family friend.

The man left, but allegedly came back armed with a piece of lumber which he threw at his wife, hitting her on the bottom left side of her back, leaving a minor cut.

The defendant didn't stop there. The victim told police that her husband punched her from behind, on her right cheek. She added that this isn't the first time her husband has assaulted her, and she's "tired of getting beat".

Police were able to apprehend the defendant that same day and he was transported to the Tafuna Correctional Facility to await his appearance in court.

During court proceedings yesterday, the defendant entered a 'not guilty' plea to both charges against him. Defense attorney Assistant Public Defender Anna Whiles requested that her client be released on his own recognizance, saying he is legal and gainfully employed. Assistant Attorney General Jason Mitchell did not object, but told the court that the victim has indicated that she wants no contact with the defendant.

In the end, District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea ordered the defendant to be released on his own recognizance, under several conditions: that he remain law abiding, that he not leave or attempt to leave the territory without prior written permission from the court, that he make no direct or indirect contact with the victim, and that he find somewhere else to reside until his matter is resolved.

Pretrial conference is scheduled for April 15