14 January 2019, Apia Samoa Sinamanu’a Manuela from Falefa and Toamua-Uta who was charged with the murder of two men at Leulumoega in November last year has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
The decision was handed down by His Honour, Chief Justice Patu Tiavasu’e Falefatu Sapolu.
Manuele, who was an employee of the deceased men, entered guilty pleas for both charges of murder through defense counsel Su’a Hellene Wallwork.
This matter had been adjourned last year for Manuele’s lawyer to obtain instructions, however, when the matter was called for mention on the first day back for the Supreme Court, Manuele pleaded guilty to both counts of murder.
The police summary of facts was read out in open court stating that on the 22nd of November 2018, the employee had unlawfully assaulted his employers using a machete. Both men had died at the scene.
According to police reports the bodies of two men were discovered in an open outdoor kitchen area at Leulumoega-Uta on the 23rd of November 2018.
They identified the two victims as 42-year-old Pili Tino Lualua of Savaia Lefaga and Tanumalala and his 69-year-old father-in-law Alesana Satele of Leulumoega Uta, Lufilufi and New Zealand.
During the court proceedings yesterday Chief Justice Patu said the sentencing of the defendant had been set for the 11th of February 2019.
However, prosecution Leone Su’a Mailo told the court that the maximum penalty for a murder charge is life imprisonment and that the defendant had already pleaded guilty to all charges.
Defense counsel Sua Hellene Wallwork did not oppose the application by prosecution.
Chief Justice Patu then granted the application of the prosecution and sentenced Simanu’a Manuele to life imprisonment.