Trial of alleged killer of mentally ill man starts

The accused Jonathan Patrick Crichton with his lawyer Rosela Papali’i

The accused Jonathan Patrick Crichton with his lawyer Rosela Papali’i

Lagi Keresoma

APIA: MONDAY 20 JANUARY 2014: The trial of a prisoner accused of the murder of a mentally ill man held at Tafaigata Prison began today.

Hans Dalton, 28, of Fagali’i and New Zealand was found dead inside the holding Cell 2 at the prison on 26 December 2012.

Accused of murdering Dalton is Jonathan Patrick Crichton, 21, of Tafuna, American Samoa and Malifa.

Details of what led to Dalton’s death were presented to the jury of four by prosecutor Precious Chan.

Dalton was placed under police custody after when his illness caused him to be aggressive.

On 24-25 December 2012, he was placed in Cell 2 with two others – Crichton and Siliva Suitupe. On 25 December 2012, Dalton’s condition worsened and again became aggressive. In the early hours of 26 December, he was loud which caused Crichton to lose sleep and become angry. In the early hours of the same day the Police found Dalton dead. Half of his body was inside a 44 gallon drum head first.

The Prosecution say that Dalton was drowned.

Dalton holidayed with his family in Samoa in December 2012 and stayed at Aggie Grey’s Lagoon Resort at Mulifanua. On 23 December resort staff called

National Health Service (NHS) at Moto’otua  for assistance with Dalton, a mentally ill guest who’d become aggressive.

NHS staff were dispatched to Mulifanua and on the way made a stop at the Faleolo Police post due to Dalton’s reported aggressiveness.

Senior Sergeant Sione Mene Fata of the Faleolo police post sent three officers to assist the NHS staff.

On their way back from Mulifanua, the NHS staff again asked Senior Sergeant to allow them to give Dalton an injection to calm him down. Permission was

granted and two more officers joined NHS staff on the journey back to Apia. But NHS staff could not contain Dalton’s aggressiveness and they transferred him to Tafaigata Prison.

Dr.Penehuro, a senior physician at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole hospital testified that he received the call from Aggie’s Resort on 23 December 2012.

After learning that Dalton was a mentally ill person, Dr. Penehuro then contacted  Dr. Ian Parkinson, a specialist  in mental cases. Parkinson referred the matter to a mental unit nurse who went to Mulifanua.

Dr. Penehuro was also on duty the morning they brought in Dalton’s body.

“The body was cold and stiff indicating the deceased had been dead for some time,” he said.

He recommended a post mortem which was conducted by a New Zealand pathologist. The pathologist gave evidence late afternoon today.

Members of Dalton’s family from New Zealand and their lawyer Leuluaiali’i Olinda Woodroffe have flown over to attend the trial. Crichton is represented by
Rosella Papali’i.

Set down for four days, the trial continues.