Court orders mental health assessment for machete woman

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 07 June 2017, 12:00AM

Supreme Court Justice Lei’ataualesa Darryl Clarke has ordered a mental health assessment for a woman who attacked a relative with a machete.

Lama Lavea Christopher, also known as Lama Kobayash, has pleaded guilty to attempted murder. 

The victim suffered laceration on his neck, which required 16 stitches, and other injuries to his face. 

Earlier this month, the woman appeared before Chief Justice Patu Tiava’asu’e Sapolu for her initial appearance during the criminal mention. 

The charges include attempted murder; assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and possession of a dangerous weapon, namely a machete. 

The woman pleaded guilty to attempted murder and assault but pleaded not guilty to the possession of a dangerous weapon.  

During her sentencing hearing, which was presided over by Leiataualesa, it was revealed that the defendant is first cousins with the victim.

Lama, in her 40s, lives on the same land with the victim but in separate houses.

The Police Summary of facts said the defendant was upset when the victim instructed her to wash the dishes. 

It is alleged the victim was sleeping with his family with the lights off when the defendant entered their house and struck him with a machete. 

The defendant afterwards turned herself in to the Afega police outpost. 

The police report says the victim was admitted to the hospital for one week due to the severity of the injuries. 

The case had since been scheduled for status hearing on 19 June 2017 to await the mental health assessment and a medical report. 

Justice Leai’ataualesa ordered the defendant to remain in Police custody.

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 07 June 2017, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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