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Defendant in Utulei stabbing case will be sentenced next month

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Associate Justice Fiti Sunia has accepted a plea agreement between the government and Viliamu Sione, who is accused of stabbing a man during a drinking session on Oct. 21, 2018

Sione, who has been in custody since his arrest, unable to post a $10,000 cash bond, appeared in High Court this week for a Change of Plea hearing. He was represented by Assistant Public Defender Rob McNell, while prosecuting was Assistant Attorney General Doug Lowe.

Sione, 30, was accused of stabbing the right shoulder of another man with a kitchen knife, following a verbal argument during a drinking session at the victim’s home in Utulei last year.

He was facing one count of first degree assault; however, in a plea deal with the government, Sione pled guilty to an amended, lesser charge of second degree assault.

According to court documents, on the day in question, Sione was at the victim’s house for a birthday party. Sione and the victim are very close friends. It was near the end of the party when a verbal argument between Sione and another man started, resulting in  Sione becoming very angry.

The victim stepped up and tried to calm the situation; however, out of nowhere, the man who had been arguing with Sione punched Sione in the face, dropping him to the ground.

Sione stood up and immediately stabbed the person who was standing behind him (the victim), thinking that was the person who had punched him.

Court filings say the wounded man was taken to the LBJ Hospital where he was hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for a day because he had lost a lot of blood. 

Sione is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 26th for sentencing.