23 May 2011

Man found not guilty of shooting at American Samoa police

3:06 pm on 23 May 2011

A man who was charged with shooting at American Samoa police officers in 2009, Eliota Siaumau Sr. has been acquitted of weapons and assault charges.

Mr Siaumau is the uncle of Siaumau Siaumau Jr. who's charged with the July 2010 killing of police officer Liusila Brown.

It took a jury of four men and two women about half an hour to reach their not guilty verdict on Friday in the High Court.

They found him not guilty of first-degree assault, discharging a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm and disturbing the peace.

Police officers had testified that on April 17, 2009, the defendant fired at them when they responded to a disturbance near the defendant's home.

The window of one of the police cars was shattered by rocks thrown by members of the defendant's family.

Defense witnesses, mainly neighbours and tenants of Mr Siaumau testified that they never heard shots fired.

Security at the court house had been heightened after police were notified that something was going to happen at the court building when the jury began deliberating.