22 Oct 2010

Lawyer asks for bail for American Samoa machete attack-accused

7:14 am on 22 October 2010

The defense attorney for an American Samoan man accused of assaulting a federal official with a bush knife, has asked the federal court in Honolulu to reconsider releasing the defendant on pretrial bond.

In April this year, the federal court denied bail for Simeti Lualemana, who is charged with a one-count federal criminal complaint for the felonious attack and striking with a bush knife of the local chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The government had opposed bail, arguing that the alleged assault is a "crime of violence" and that Lualemana is a danger to the community.

Last week, Federal Assistant Public Defender Donna Gray filed a motion for reconsideration, saying that Mr Lualemana was born and raised in American Samoa, served 11-years in the U.S. Army, and is a Vietnam veteran, having served two tours of duty and given a Bronze Medal.

Gray asked that Lualemana be released to a third-party custodianship of his cousin.