Men jailed over Vaimea death

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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PJ Tupuola and Max Alefosion saying farewell to their family members after Justice Leiataualesa handed down his sentencing decision.

PJ Tupuola and Max Alefosion saying farewell to their family members after Justice Leiataualesa handed down his sentencing decision.

Two men accused of killing a 44-year-old man at Vaimea last year are going to jail. PJ Tupuola was convicted and sentenced to seven years and 10 months while Max Alofisio was convicted and sentenced to five years and seven months.

The decision was handed down by Supreme Court Justice Lei’ataualesa Daryl Clarke yesterday. 

Appearing for the prosecution was Leone Su’a–Mailo. Diana Roma represented PJ Puni Tupuola while Lei’ataua Jerry Brunt represented Max Alefosio. 

Initially the defendants faced murder charges. However, after a hearing before assessors they were found not guilty of murder but were both found guilty of manslaughter.

PJ Tupuola is a 25 year old male of Siumu, Taufusi and Vaimea.

According to Justice Leiataualesa, PJ is no stranger to the justice system as he has previous convictions.

He was convicted for burglary and theft in 2012. He was also convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm and being armed with a dangerous weapon for which he was imprisoned for two months in 2013.

“In 2014, he was convicted of assault with intent to rob and sentenced to one year and ten months imprisonment and he was released from prison in January 2016 only five months prior to this incident. Tupuola has a history of violent offending.

Tupuola’s offending in February 2014 was similar to this offending where he was intoxicated, again having drunk “Russian Vodka”. 

Max Alefosio is 23 years of age. His father passed away during the course of this trial and he told Probation Service that his focus is now on looking after his mother.

The victim was the husband and father to four children aged 8, 6, 4 and 1. 

He was the main financial provider for his wife and children as well as for his parents. His death has had a significant impact on his wife and their children.

They have moved back to Savaii and she now struggles to provide for the children.  Read Court’s full ruling in tomorrow’s Samoa Observer.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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