Ads by Google Ads by Google

Man allegedly kills his wife and then kills himself


Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Two weeks ago the community was aghast at the news of the death of a woman, a mother, at the hands of her husband in a domestic violence incident. Samoa News reported the incident, at the time, from the point of view of a fellow church member, who spoke of her friend kindly.

However, a court affidavit of a man who police intended to charge with murder in the first- and second-degree died in police custody, allegedly due to self-inflicted injuries, gives an account of the domestic violence incident that can only be described as a tragedy that seems to have possibly involved alcohol, drugs and jealousy.

On September 5, 2023 at 3:36 PM, the Tafuna Police Substation (TPS) received a call requesting police assistance after it was reported a man was assaulting his wife at their home. Four minutes later, a woman called TPS as well, reporting that she could hear her neighbor’s children crying and screaming as if something had happened inside the home.

 Officers from TPS and the Leone Police Substation (LPS) responded to the call, and after arriving, they observed a woman, the victim, lying motionless inside her house. According to the affidavit, her body was later transported to the LBJ Medical Center.

(Samoa News should point out that the court affidavit does not say that Mrs. Ropeti was found deceased at the scene or declared dead upon arrival at LBJ.)

The Criminal Investigation Division was contacted at 4:52 PM, and they arrived at the scene and took over the investigation. The victim was identified as Dorothy Ropeti.

CID’s initial assessment reports that the victim was found lying motionless on her back with her head turned to the right side. A pool of blood was also observed a couple of inches to her left. Other injuries observed were lacerations to her left side jaw and her left temple.

 Detectives seized a steel rectangular object that had bloodstains on it, which was about 3- 5 yards away from where the victim lay motionless. The object was 16 inches in length and weighed 10.2 pounds.

 At 4:05 PM, officers apprehended the alleged suspect, who was the husband of the victim, Andrew Ropeti.

A witness who was present in the home when the defendant struck the victim twice on her head was taken to the TPS to provide a statement.

According to the eyewitness, before the suspect came home, it was just her, the wife and the children that were at home.

“Whenever the defendant is drunk or high on meth, he would accuse (the victim) of seeing someone else other than him,” said the eyewitness.

 The eyewitness stated that the victim was not seeing anyone else.

 Ropeti was Mirandized on September 5, 2023 at 6:26 PM, waived his rights and made a statement.

 The defendant stated that he left his home at 6 AM to run personal errands and when he was done, he stopped at a store and bought a pack of Woodstock liquor and started consuming it on the bus on his way home.

 He stated that as he got closer to their house in Mapusaga, he phoned his wife asking her whereabouts and she told the defendant that she was at her daughter’s school waiting for her to get out. The defendant then states that he went home to wait for the arrival of his wife and children.

 After getting off a bus, he got home at 2PM and noticed that his wife and kids were already home and that when he entered their home, he noticed someone running out towards the back door and exiting.

The defendant states that he asked his wife who that was, and she told him that it was none of his business and that no one else was there.

 An argument ensued and several words were exchanged, before it got the best of the defendant, and that’s when he struck the victim on her left jaw the first time, and struck her in the temple a second time, and she collapsed.

The defendant immediately left their home and did not call anyone for help.

The defendant stated that he was suspicious of his wife cheating on him, recalling a previous domestic matter between him and his wife in 2019, where he was locked up at the TCF, when he slapped her in the face.

At 7:20 PM, officers transported Ropeti to the TCF to be booked and confined for 48 hours until an arrest warrant could be processed.

Unfortunately, two days afterwards, it was reported that the defendant had died while in police custody, allegedly due to self-inflicted injuries.

The couple’s five young children were put in the care of Child Protective Services.