Saturday, February 03, 2007

Pig Thieves

Just a few days ago, a heinous crime was committed in American Samoa. Three men were charged with killing and then stealing their neighbor's pig. For this despicable crime, they could face up to seven years for stealing, up to five years for property damage and up to six months for trespass. I mean, it's as serious as killing a human being down here, folks! Here's the story:

The government's case against three men accused of killing a neighbor's pig, then stealing the pig for White Sunday to'onai has been bound over to the High Court.

The men, Sione Pulou, Amaketo Titiali'i, and Suafai Satale, are each facing charges of felony stealing, first-degree property damage and trespassing. They waived their rights to a preliminary examination hearing at the District Court yesterday and their matter was then bound over to the High Court.

The defendants, all incarcerated at the TCF, are scheduled to appear in High Court for their arraignment and they are expected to enter not guilty pleas.

The charges against the defendants stem from an incident that occurred on Oct. 7, 2005. The victim called police and told them that someone had killed one of his pigs.

The victim said he went to his pig farm and saw a 300-400 lb pig dead with about 15-20 stab wounds on its body. The victim also told police that the pig had been dragged about 100 meters from the piggery, towards the road.

He said that the damage to his piggery and the loss of the pig exceeds $1,000.

At least two witnesses saw the defendants near the victim's piggery. When confronted by police, Pulou admitted that he and Titiali'i were at the victim's piggery with the intent to kill the pig. He admitted that they also caused damage to the piggery in the process of killing the animal.

Pulou said that after killing the pig, he and Titiali'i dragged the dead animal about 100 meters towards the road, then hid the pig under some coconut trees. He said they planned on returning to claim the pig so that they could cook it for White Sunday, according to the government's case.

Pulou further told police that Satale told him and Titiali'i to kill the victim's pig. He said Satale drove them to the victim's piggery, and later picked them up.

Sounds premeditated to me, don't you think? This is serious stuff! Samoans treasure their pigs, and for someone to come and do this is, well, it's unthinkable!!