PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) — The High Court of American Samoa has ordered the territorial government to set aside $260,000 for the defense of a man accused of fatally shooting a police lieutenant in 2010.
The public defender's office asked the court for an order to have the government set aside enough money to properly defend Siaumau Siaumau Jr. in the death penalty case. He was previously represented by a private attorney.
The order issued last week is the first such request by the public defender's office. Siaumau is the first person in American Samoa to face the death penalty in more than 50 years.
Siaumau is charged with first-degree murder in the death of detective Lt. Liusila Brown outside the temporary High Court building.
A trial date has yet to be scheduled.