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Court releases man who threatened to cut his niece with a knife

American Samoa District Court building

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The man who allegedly threatened his niece by telling her to shut up before he cuts her with a knife was told by District Court Judge Elvis P. Patea to maintain the peace within his family and refrain from any threatening behavior towards his niece.

Amosa Vaili, charged with public peace disturbance and endangering the welfare of a child, made his initial appearance in court last week. He has entered a ‘not guilty’ plea to the charges against him.

Defense attorney Ryan Anderson asked the court to release his client on his own recognizance, saying Vaili is a first time offender and the alleged incident occurred in Utulei, but his client resides in Tafuna with his family.

Anderson said his client is not a flight risk, nor is he a danger to society.

Prosecutor Jason Mitchell echoed the defense’s verbal motion for release, under the condition that he stay away from the victim and her family.

Patea released Vaili on his own recognizance, subject to the following conditions: he is not to make any direct or indirect contact with the victim, and he has to remain alcohol and drug free. Vaili has to maintain the peace at home and he is not to possess any weapons including knives or guns, or anything that can cause harm to other people.

According to the government’s case, the Central Police Station received a phone call from the victim (defendant’s niece) regarding Vaili allegedly coming over to her home and yelling profanities at her and her little sister, threatening to cut them with a kitchen knife last week.

According to the victim’s statement to police, she was cutting chicken with her sister when Vaili walked into her home and asked what it is they have done to him. The victim said she told Vaili that she doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

And that’s when Vaili allegedly told his niece to shut up before he cuts her with a knife. The victim’s sister told Vaili to leave or they were going to call the police. Vaili allegedly responded that he doesn’t care about the police - and left.

The victim told investigators that this isn’t the first time her uncle has done this. According to her, the first alleged incident occurred over the phone when Vaili called her and told her that she has two options: he was going to come and beat her dad, or kill everyone that lives in their home.

Cops say they detected a strong odor of alcohol emitting from Vaili’s breath when he was being interviewed. Pretrial conference is Aug. 20th.