KJL Murder Hearing: Niece Added To Stepdaughter’s Choking Claims

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  • Prosecution team of Magele Leone Mailo (left) and Ann Matalasi with relatives outside the courtroom.
    Prosecution team of Magele Leone Mailo (left) and Ann Matalasi with relatives outside the courtroom.

Deidre Fanene

Choking claims against Kolani Junior Lam was corroborated in court yesterday by the 12-year-old niece of murdered wife and UTOS Chief Executive Officer, Sa’u Justina Sa’u.

Karena Evile told the court on the 3rd day of hearing that she was with her cousin Talei Justina Kelsall, when it allegedly happened.

Evile told the court her late aunty Sa’u was in New Zealand at the time and Lam was looking after the children. The couple was not officially married at the time.

“Me and Talei had finished our afternoon class at Kid McGrath and Junior picked us up and we went to Sinamoga.  I usually spend the night there and then return back to Apolima where I live with my parents,” she said.

She recalled arriving home, showered and then they watched TV while Junior was drinking.

“While we were watching TV Junior’s daughter Juvani cried because she wanted to play XBOX on the TV but Talei told her no because we wanted to watch TV so she started crying and ran to her dad.

“That’s when Junior came and told Talei off and said to her that “everything in the house he owns, so Talei started crying and ran to the room.”

Evile said she followed Talei to the bedroom and she was crying and that’s when Junior came inside the room and started yelling at Talei again.

“He was yelling at Talei and then grabbed her hand and held her by the neck lifting her up at the same time, ” said the 12 year old.

“He told her that everything in the house he owns and that nothing is hers.  He held Talei by the neck for few seconds, not longer than a minute.

“She looked like she was struggling to get some air.

“I started crying and told him to stop and that’s when he threw Talei on the bed and walked out.”

The niece said she ran and told the babysitter about what had happened.

The witness also told the court that Junior was drinking because she could smell alcohol on him when he entered the room.

 Evile was 9 years old at the time when the incident occurred.

She said Talei is like a sister to her and that she looked up to her.

The trial continues.