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Case of man arrested for burning his wife’s clothes transferred to Family, Drugs & Alcohol Court

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The case of a man accused of burning his wife’s clothes has been transferred to the FDA court (Family, Drugs and Alcohol) because the alleged case involves domestic violence.

On May 20, 2020 about 3:25p.m, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a phone call from a man in Lepuapua, asking for police assistance regarding domestic violence involving his son (the defendant) who allegedly burnt his wife’s clothes outside of their house.

Several police officers responded to the call and met up with the man who contacted police for help, and the defendant’s wife who both briefed officers regarding the alleged incident.

The man who called police for assistance stated to police that he was sitting inside his house when he saw black smoke coming from his son’s house. He walked over to check it out and found out that his son was burning his wife’s clothes outside of their house. He immediately called police for assistance.

When asked about the incident, the defendant’s wife told police that she and her children had arrived home and her husband (defendant) was not at home. A few moments later, her husband arrived and told her to give him money to buy a saw. The woman refused, which made the husband (defendant) really upset and he started throwing his wife’s clothes around the house and also outside and cracked a shower mirror, while their 13-year old-daughter was present.

The wife further stated to police that the defendant approached her while holding a kitchen knife saying “watch what I’m going to do to you after I’m done.” The defendant continued to mess up the house then continued to take clothes outside their house and burn them, all while their 13-year-old daughter was present.

After interviewing the wife, officers went inside the house and observed the defendant sitting on a chair inside the house pretending nothing had happened. Before officers said anything to the defendant, he spontaneously said that everything was okay and that he and his wife had just settled the matter. The defendant also said the clothes he burned in front of the door of their house were old clothes and that is why he had burned them.

The defendant was immediately placed under arrest by police and transported to the TPS for further investigation before he was booked and later transported to the Territorial Correctional Facility (TCF) to await the next sitting of District Court.

The defendant made his initial appearance in court last week. The defendant is charged with private peace disturbance (PPD), a class B misdemeanor.

According to immigration, the defendant’s immigration identification (ID) expired in May 2013.

When asked why he had not renewed his immigration ID in the last 7 years, the defendant said that he’s registered with the Governor’s new Amnesty Program from last year and he already paid his bond.

An immigration officer present in court told the court that they don’t have a file on the defendant showing he is registered in the current Amnesty Program. Associate Justice Elvis P. Patea continued the case for the following day and instructed the defendant to bring his receipts to court to confirm his story.

When the defendant’s case was called on the following case, the court instructed that the defendant’s case would be transferred to the FDA court.

Samoa News understand that the defendant is still in custody due to his illegal immigration status and the court has set his bond at $1,000.