Man jailed over attempt to murder stepfather

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu ,

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A young man convicted over an attempt to murder his step father has been jailed for six years.

The decision in the hearing of 19-year-old, Tele’ameko Kepaoa, was delivered by Supreme Court Justice, Mata Tuatagaloa. 

Kepaoa was accused of attempted murder and actual bodily harm.

However he was found guilty of attempted murder.

The man was represented by Leota Raymond Schuster while prosecuting was Lucymaria Sio. 

At the time of the incident, the step-father was 40-years-old while the accused was 17.

The incident occurred on 28 February 2016 when the step-father and the accused mother had an argument. 

“The accused heard the argument, walked over and heard the step-father saying things about him and his sister." 

“The accused was not happy as this is not the first time the step-father has had a fight or argument with his mother." 

“The accused got hold of a machete, went to the main road to wait for his step-father and assaulted him with the machete.” 

Justice Tuatagaloa in her ruling noted that Kepaoa had been living with his biological father however at the time of the offending he had moved to live with his mother. 

Less than a year into this new living arrangement it was clear that the accused was not happy with the constant quarrelling between the step-father and mother especially that these fights were happening and they were living at his mother’s family.

 The other issue was the step-father would always bring up the accused and his sister in these verbal arguments. 

Justice Tuatagaloa noted the victim sustained multiple lacerations to his left forearm, deep open fracture to his left elbow, amputated right thumb and multiple lacerations to the left thigh. 

“The injuries to his left elbow involved the joint, fracturing the bones and severing muscles and nerves." 

“The victim underwent an emergency operation with the injuries to his left elbow and posterior forearm." 

“From the doctor’s report the victim underwent three more operations to try and restore function to his left upper limb." 

“The victim according to the victim impact report was hospitalized for four months.” 

According to the Victim Impact Report the right thumb had been severed and the victim can only use three fingers on his left hand as the nerves to the other two fingers are damaged as the result of the attack. The victim no longer has the full function of his left arm and can no longer carry out his normal day to day duties to care for his young children. 

The pre-sentence report portrays an unstable environment the accused was raised in under the care of his parents. 

“Perhaps, this is the reason why the accused parents are no longer together,” according to the ruling. Justice Tuatagaloa noted the pre-sentence report "confirms the defendant has not personally apologized to the victim.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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