Shovels removed from property in murder probe

Police removed a number of shovels from a property in Lotopa as part of an ongoing investigation into an alleged fight between two cousins that left a 16-year-old boy facing a charge of murder. 

Police confirmed the 16-year-old boy was charged with murder shortly after the 24-year-old victim's death at Motootua Hospital on Monday.  

An alleged fight between the two had taken place two weeks earlier. 

According to a family member who did not want to be identified, the deceased and alleged perpetrator are first cousins. 

Both the suspect and deceased are employed by a family member who is a carpenter, and contracted the cousins to help out with work when needed.

The shovels were removed from Lotopa, where the incident occurred. 

When asked about reports that a shovel had been wielded in the dispute, the Acting Police Commissioner Papali'i Monalisa Keti confirmed investigations by the force's Criminal Investigation Division were ongoing. 

The defendant is currently remanded in custody until Court mentions later on this month.

"Confirm investigations by CID and a 16-year-old male has been charged with murder, he is schedule to appear in court on the 19th August 2019," said Papali'i.

The 24-year-old deceased male hails from the village of Malie.

The Police criminal investigation division was notified on Monday when the victim passed away, and the 16-year-old was later arrested and charged, some two weeks after the incident was alleged to have occurred on July 25. 

The charges against the boy were the second homicide charges laid by Police so far this month. 


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