Tonga awaits extradition
Honolulu: A US citizen was being held in Honolulu for extradition to Tonga, where he’s accused of beating his wife to death, escaping Police and sailing some 300 miles to American Samoa. Kingdom of Tonga officials said Dean Jay Fletcher, 54, was indicted on murder and other charges in the July death of his wife, Patricia Linne Kearney. Three diving operators saw Fletcher assaulting his wife on a dinghy after she picked him up July 6 at the Neiafu Port of Refuge, according to provisional arrest documents filed in federal court in Honolulu. Fletcher kept kicking and punching Kearney as the couple arrived at another boat, named Sea Oak, which was moored about 100 metres from shore, Tonga officials told US prosecutors. One witness reported that he saw Fletcher grab his wife’s head while she was in the dinghy, “slam his knee into her neck and punch her in the head,” the documents state. The next day, Fletcher went to the Neiafu Police Station to report his wife had died when she slipped and fell down stairs on their yacht.
Fletcher allegedly told an acquaintance that his wife had a nerve disease and had been drunk. The person reported seeing a blood-stained bed sheet in the dinghy, and another person said Fletcher dropped the sheet into the sea, the documents state. While in Police custody on July 11, Fletcher asked a detective for permission to use the toilet then ran out of the Police station and was caught after a brief foot chase, authorities said. Associated Press
Dean Fletcher, left, was escorted by a Police officer, last month after his initial appearance in the District Court of American Samoa in Pago Pago.