[Hpn] Homeless man ordered to 11 years in prison for slashing wife

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Sun, 16 Dec 2007 18:36:09 -0500


This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

------=_NextPart_000_00D0_01C84012.86BB25E0
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

http://www.mauinews.com:80/news/2007/12/16/04home1216.html

Homeless man ordered to 11 years in prison for slashing wife

=20
Sunday, December 16, 2007=20


By LILA FUJIMOTO, Staff Writer=20
WAILUKU - When she was stabbed in the face nine times during a drunken =
argument at an Olowalu beach campsite, a woman suffered three =
potentially fatal wounds, almost losing an eye and ear, a deputy =
prosecutor said.

On Thursday in 2nd Circuit Court, the woman's husband, Senita =
Tuivailala, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for the June 16 assault =
and an earlier incident of abuse of his wife.=20

Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza imposed the sentence, citing the =
"extreme nature of the conduct."=20

In October, testimony was about to begin in a trial for 22-year-old =
Tuivailala when he pleaded no contest as charged to first-degree assault =
of his wife, Elitisi Tuivailala.=20

The couple had been drinking and arguing the night before, witnesses =
said. On June 16, Senita Tuivailala was dropped off before 6 a.m. at the =
couple's campsite near Mile Marker 14 in Olowalu, the witnesses said. At =
about 10:30 a.m., he borrowed a cellular telephone from beachgoers to =
call 911 to report what he said was a suicide attempt by his 22-year-old =
wife.=20

The woman also told police she had injured herself.=20

But Dr. Peter Galpin, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who treated =
Elitisi Tuivailala, found that the injuries included defensive wounds =
that couldn't have been self-inflicted, according to Deputy Prosecutor =
Melinda Mendes.=20

Mendes said the doctor reported that two wounds to the sides of the =
woman's mouth nearly hit an artery and her eyelid was cut apart by =
another potentially fatal injury.=20

"He advised me this was the worst maiming he had seen to somebody's face =
while she was still alive," Mendes said.=20

"In this case, the defendant tortured and almost killed his wife."=20

At the time, Tuivailala was on probation after being convicted of =
abusing his wife by hitting her with a stick while she was pregnant with =
their second child, Mendes said.=20

"He was on probation for doing harm to his wife and child," Mendes said. =
"Within six months, he's almost killing her."=20

While Mendes recommended prison for Tuivailala, Deputy Public Defender =
Jon Apo argued for probation. He said the prosecution had presented an =
"inflated view" of what happened, disputing the claim that Tuivailala =
had tortured his wife.=20

"This is an abuse case, which is an extreme one, and my client has taken =
responsibility for it," Apo said. "He hopes to change his life.=20

"He didn't have to call the police. He did."=20

Tuivailala wouldn't benefit from being in prison, Apo said, but would =
likely do well if released on probation to work building rock walls with =
a relative.=20

In court Thursday, Tuivailala's wife joined his cousin and a friend in =
asking for mercy.=20

"This incident happened when we were both drunk," said Elitisi =
Tuivailala, who has scars from the stabbing. "When you are drunk, you're =
not really yourself.=20

"He's a good man. He was always there and supporting our family."=20

"I know myself," Senita Tuivailala said. "I'm not a bad person."=20

Cardoza said he had "serious concerns" about the safety of Tuivailala's =
family and the community.=20

"The reality is this is an extremely dangerous situation that caused =
serious injury to another human being," the judge said. "It's just too =
dangerous a situation to not proceed with extreme caution."=20

Cardoza ordered that Tuivailala serve a 10-year prison term for =
first-degree assault after he completes a one-year jail term for his =
prior abuse conviction.=20

After the sentence was imposed, Tuivailala asked the judge if he could =
change his plea.=20

"I would like to change my plea," he said. "I want to take this to =
trial."=20

Apo said he would talk to Tuivailala and file any appropriate motions in =
the case.=20


Lila Fujimoto can be reached at lfujimoto@mauinews.com.

------=_NextPart_000_00D0_01C84012.86BB25E0
Content-Type: text/html;
	charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<META http-equiv=3DContent-Type content=3D"text/html; =
charset=3Diso-8859-1">
<META content=3D"MSHTML 6.00.6000.16587" name=3DGENERATOR>
<STYLE></STYLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV><STRONG><FONT color=3D#666666><FONT face=3DArial><SPAN =
class=3Dnewstitle><SPAN=20
id=3DStoryTitle><A=20
href=3D"http://www.mauinews.com:80/news/2007/12/16/04home1216.html">http:=
//www.mauinews.com:80/news/2007/12/16/04home1216.html</A></SPAN></SPAN></=
FONT></FONT></STRONG></DIV>
<DIV><STRONG><FONT color=3D#666666><FONT face=3DArial><SPAN=20
class=3Dnewstitle><SPAN></SPAN></SPAN></FONT></FONT></STRONG>&nbsp;</DIV>=

<DIV><STRONG><FONT color=3D#666666><FONT face=3DArial><SPAN=20
class=3Dnewstitle><SPAN>Homeless man ordered to 11 years in prison for =
slashing=20
wife</SPAN></SPAN></FONT></FONT></STRONG></DIV>
<DIV><STRONG><FONT color=3D#666666><FONT face=3DArial><SPAN=20
class=3Dnewstitle><SPAN></SPAN></SPAN></FONT></FONT></STRONG>&nbsp;</DIV>=

<DIV><STRONG><FONT color=3D#666666><FONT face=3DArial><SPAN=20
class=3Dnewstitle><SPAN>&nbsp;
<P class=3Ddatetime><SPAN id=3DStoryDate>Sunday, December 16, =
2007</SPAN>=20
</P></SPAN></SPAN></FONT></FONT></STRONG></DIV>
<DIV><STRONG><FONT color=3D#666666><FONT face=3DArial><SPAN=20
class=3Dnewstitle><SPAN></SPAN></SPAN><BR></FONT></FONT></STRONG><SPAN=20
class=3Dnewsauthor><SPAN id=3DStoryAuthor><EM><FONT face=3DVerdana =
color=3D#333333>By=20
LILA FUJIMOTO, Staff Writer</FONT></EM></SPAN></SPAN> </DIV>
<P class=3Dnewsbody><SPAN id=3DFirstLine>WAILUKU =96 When she was =
stabbed in the face=20
nine times during a drunken argument at an Olowalu beach campsite, a =
woman=20
suffered three potentially fatal wounds, almost losing an eye and ear, a =
deputy=20
prosecutor said.</SPAN></P>
<P class=3Dnewsbody><SPAN id=3DStoryText>On Thursday in 2nd Circuit =
Court, the=20
woman=92s husband, Senita Tuivailala, was sentenced to 11 years in =
prison for the=20
June 16 assault and an earlier incident of abuse of his wife.=20
<P>Second Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza imposed the sentence, citing the =
=93extreme=20
nature of the conduct.=94=20
<P>In October, testimony was about to begin in a trial for 22-year-old=20
Tuivailala when he pleaded no contest as charged to first-degree assault =
of his=20
wife, Elitisi Tuivailala.=20
<P>The couple had been drinking and arguing the night before, witnesses =
said. On=20
June 16, Senita Tuivailala was dropped off before 6 a.m. at the =
couple=92s=20
campsite near Mile Marker 14 in Olowalu, the witnesses said. At about =
10:30=20
a.m., he borrowed a cellular telephone from beachgoers to call 911 to =
report=20
what he said was a suicide attempt by his 22-year-old wife.=20
<P>The woman also told police she had injured herself.=20
<P>But Dr. Peter Galpin, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who =
treated=20
Elitisi Tuivailala, found that the injuries included defensive wounds =
that=20
couldn=92t have been self-inflicted, according to Deputy Prosecutor =
Melinda=20
Mendes.=20
<P>Mendes said the doctor reported that two wounds to the sides of the =
woman=92s=20
mouth nearly hit an artery and her eyelid was cut apart by another =
potentially=20
fatal injury.=20
<P>=93He advised me this was the worst maiming he had seen to =
somebody=92s face=20
while she was still alive,=94 Mendes said.=20
<P>=93In this case, the defendant tortured and almost killed his =
wife.=94=20
<P>At the time, Tuivailala was on probation after being convicted of =
abusing his=20
wife by hitting her with a stick while she was pregnant with their =
second child,=20
Mendes said.=20
<P>=93He was on probation for doing harm to his wife and child,=94 =
Mendes said.=20
=93Within six months, he=92s almost killing her.=94=20
<P>While Mendes recommended prison for Tuivailala, Deputy Public =
Defender Jon=20
Apo argued for probation. He said the prosecution had presented an =
=93inflated=20
view=94 of what happened, disputing the claim that Tuivailala had =
tortured his=20
wife.=20
<P>=93This is an abuse case, which is an extreme one, and my client has =
taken=20
responsibility for it,=94 Apo said. =93He hopes to change his life.=20
<P>=93He didn=92t have to call the police. He did.=94=20
<P>Tuivailala wouldn=92t benefit from being in prison, Apo said, but =
would likely=20
do well if released on probation to work building rock walls with a =
relative.=20
<P>In court Thursday, Tuivailala=92s wife joined his cousin and a friend =
in asking=20
for mercy.=20
<P>=93This incident happened when we were both drunk,=94 said Elitisi =
Tuivailala,=20
who has scars from the stabbing. =93When you are drunk, you=92re not =
really=20
yourself.=20
<P>=93He=92s a good man. He was always there and supporting our =
family.=94=20
<P>=93I know myself,=94 Senita Tuivailala said. =93I=92m not a bad =
person.=94=20
<P>Cardoza said he had =93serious concerns=94 about the safety of =
Tuivailala=92s=20
family and the community.=20
<P>=93The reality is this is an extremely dangerous situation that =
caused serious=20
injury to another human being,=94 the judge said. =93It=92s just too =
dangerous a=20
situation to not proceed with extreme caution.=94=20
<P>Cardoza ordered that Tuivailala serve a 10-year prison term for =
first-degree=20
assault after he completes a one-year jail term for his prior abuse =
conviction.=20
<P>After the sentence was imposed, Tuivailala asked the judge if he =
could change=20
his plea.=20
<P>=93I would like to change my plea,=94 he said. =93I want to take this =
to trial.=94=20
<P>Apo said he would talk to Tuivailala and file any appropriate motions =
in the=20
case.=20
<P>
<P>Lila Fujimoto can be reached at <A =
href=3D"mailto:lfujimoto@mauinews.com"><FONT=20
color=3D#369bff =
size=3D2>lfujimoto@mauinews.com</FONT></A>.</SPAN></P></BODY></HTML>

------=_NextPart_000_00D0_01C84012.86BB25E0--