21 Feb 2003

American Samoan attorney general lays murder charge

4:28 pm on 21 February 2003

The Attorney General's office in American Samoa has amended charges against a 62-year-old American man, Walter Lane, who has been held in connection with the violent death of a 44-year-old Filipino woman.

Originally he was charged with first degree assault, kidnapping, disturbing the peace and driving under the influence but he now also faces a second degree murder charge.

This follows an autopsy report which shows that Emelita Gavino died from a hemorrhage and a skull fracture consistent with a fall from a vehicle.

There have been witness reports that Lane was seen attacking the woman at several locations in Pago Pago.

Lane, a former chief engineer on an American purse seiner, has been refused bail.