30 Aug 2018

American Samoa prisoner accused of shooting

11:01 am on 30 August 2018

An inmate at American Samoa's Territorial Correctional Facility, Manu Lefatia, has been charged in connection with the shooting of a man in Leone.

Lefatia, who is serving time for the shooting of the police substation in Leone several years ago, now faces charges of first degree attempted murder, first degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, escape from confinement and possession of a prohibited weapon.

The victim, Senio Sopi Sopi, identified Lefatia as the person who shot him in the early hours of August 12, and his testimony was supported by his brother.

American Samoa has opened a new detention facility at the Territorial Correctional Facility.

American Samoa has expanded its Territorial Correctional Facility Photo: RNZI Monica Miller

The charging sheet points to a cover up by prison guards on duty when Lefatia, who was supposed to be locked in a cell, is suspected of shooting more than three bullets at the victim in his home.

Three officers said that Lefatia's cell was found empty at around 330 that morning but they conspired to stick to the story that the prisoner was in his cell throughout the night.

The victim received two gunshot wounds and underwent surgery to remove bullet fragments.

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