24 Mar 2016

Plea deal ends American Samoa murder trial

8:14 pm on 24 March 2016

The murder trial of Siaumau Siaumau Jr in American Samoa has ended at the High Court after he opted to take a plea deal and not go through a jury trial.

The trial was supposed to start today after more than a week of jury selection.

However, Siaumau decided to plead guilty to three felony charges this morning under a plea agreement with the government.

Siaumau had been charged with first degree murder in connection with the shooting death of police detective Liusila Brown and attempted murders of two other officers in 2010 in front of the temporary High Court building in Malaloa.

High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa

High Court in Fagatogo, American Samoa. Photo: noaa

He also faced several weapons and assault charges.

Under the plea Siaumau has pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree murder in connection with the death of Lt Brown.

He also pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree assault.

Both the prosecution and the defence are making a joint recommendation for a sentence of life imprisonment.

Siaumau, who has been in jail since the shooting on July 22nd, 2010, will be sentenced on April 22nd.