For Immediate Release
August 26, 2013
The Utah Attorney General’s Office will ask the Utah Supreme Court to uphold the conviction of a defendant who had a second trial because his wife delivered a knife with his courtroom clothing during the first trial. In his appeal, Afuhia “Rocky” Manatau claims the second trial amounted to double jeopardy.
During the second day of trial in March 2010, Judge Michelle Christiansen declared a mistrial because she was concerned about her own impartiality after the threat to her and others in the court. Judge Robin Reese was assigned to the case and Manatua was convicted by a jury on May 28, 2010 of aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, criminal mischief and four counts of reckless endangerment.
On May 24, 2009, according to the evidence presented at the trial, Manatua severely beat and broke the bones of his wife with a two-by-four. He then ran through a neighbor’s apartment and later threw a baby gate through the window of another neighbor’s window while screaming “Let me in. I’m going to kill you.”
During oral arguments before the Utah Supreme Court, Assistant Attorney General Jeanne Inouye will argue the judge had a legitimate reason to declare a mistrial and that double jeopardy does not prevent a retrial when the original charges have not been resolved.
Who: Assistant Attorney General Jeanne Inouye
What: Oral arguments in State vs. Afuhia Manatau
When: 9:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Where: Utah Supreme Court, 450 S. State, Salt Lake City
Photo: Prison photo of Manatau can be found here