Mother pleads not guilty to one-year-old's manslaughter

A mother has pleaded not guilty to a charge of manslaughter over the death of her one-year-old daughter.

Autoa Tiatia Misa, of Samalaeulu, Savai’i appeared in court on Monday and pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter, assault; failure to provide necessities of life to her baby and being armed with a dangerous weapon.   

The charges followed an incident in which she allegedly hit her one-year-old daughter with a broomstick and caused the baby's death a few days later. 

The plea was entered through her counsel, Donald Kerslake.

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The matter was held before Supreme Court Justice Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren during criminal mention. The Prosecutor for the case was Fuifui Ioane. 

The mother-of-three is out on bail.

She was ordered by the Court to live apart from her new baby and other children, in order to ensure their safety, during her initial appearance last month. 

At the time Justice Leiataualesa Darryl Clarke questioned the safety of her other children, considering that an alleged victim was one of her children. 

Given the seriousness of the charges against Misa, the Judge ordered that her baby and children not reside with their mother. 

“This is to ensure there is no risk to other children,” said the Supreme Court Judge.  

Misa was ordered to reside with her mother’s family at Taga Savaii.  Her children are to reside with her mother at Gataivai away from her. 

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