Crime scene had been cleaned, Police Officer tells Court

The crime scene where a woman was allegedly shot on the face by a man from Vailoa Faleata had already been cleaned when the Police arrived, the Supreme Court has heard. 

That's what Police Officer, Fa’atonu Leava, said during the ongoing trial of Peter Tulaga, who has been charged for the attempted murder of Frysna Rimoni on 15 January 2019. 

Tulaga has pleaded not guilty to the charge and three other alternative charges of causing grievous bodily harm, possession of unlicensed firearm and armed with a dangerous weapon. 

In the Supreme Court on Thursday, Police Officer  Leava said his supervisor received a call from Police Commissioner, Fuiavailiili Egon Keil, at 8 p.m. on the day of the incident. 

“The Commissioner called our leader that there is an incident at Faleata where a man (allegedly) shot his wife,” said Mr. Leava. 

After receiving the call, Mr. Leava together with three other Police Officers went to the home of the defendant. 

When they arrived, there were already Police officers from the Faleata post at the scene. 

“The officers at Faleata told us there is a problem with the crime scene,” he said. 

“The family has already cleaned it up. We then examined the scene and noticed there were blood stains on the wall, cushions and the bed.” 

After examining inside the room where the incident happened, Mr. Leava  proceeded to find the firearm that was used in the alleged offending. 

 “We searched the room where the offending happened and looked outside to see if it was hidden somewhere outside,” he said. 

“But we did not find anything. We later went to the Police station where we saw the defendant in this matter and his family.” 

The following day Mr. Leava went back to the crime scene. 

There were about eleven ammunitions for a 12 gauge shotgun found under the bed. 

Next to give evidence was, Corporal Tulaga Stowers, one of the officers that visited the crime scene.  

Ms. Stowers was tasked to secure all properties belonging to Ms. Rimoni which includes her cell phone, hand bag and car that was parked at the defendant’s house. 

The Court heard that the brother of the defendant, Petelo Tulaga, gave Sergeant Misiluki the car keys. 

Ms. Stowers said she looked inside the four door pick up for the cell phone and handbag but was not there. 

After this was done she carried out other duties in relation to investigating the scene. 

She recalled on the night she was at the scene she came across body parts. 

“At the family home there was a trash bag and inside it were bed sheets, pillows, curtains, clothing covered with blood,” she explained. 

“I also recall there were body parts I saw on that night. 

“The trash bag was taken to the Police station where the photos were taken and I was responsible of taking the body parts to the hospital.” 

Ms. Stowers was given a paper with photos tendered as evidence to identify where she found the body parts.

She was seen marking several areas on the paper. 

Another woman that took the stand was Eme Sititi – Karegua, who works in the Corporate Service division for Bluesky.

Mrs. Karegua’s evidence was based on a phone call from Peter to another phone number that was registered under the name Speedy Autocare. 

According to her evidence, the phone call made by Tulaga was recorded at 7:57 p.m. on the 15 January 2019 to the other phone number. 

The phone call lasted for about five minutes said Mrs. Karegua. 

The hearing continues today. 

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