comscore Mother on trial for assaulting tot on Alaska-Hawaii flight | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Mother on trial for assaulting tot on Alaska-Hawaii flight

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    In this May 22 photo, Samantha Leialoha Watanabe walks outside of federal court in Honolulu.

A Hawaii mother’s federal trial is starting on charges that she smacked, pinched and pulled out the hair of her 15-month-old daughter during a flight from Alaska to Honolulu.

Jury selection starts Wednesday in the trial against Samantha Leialoha Watanabe, who has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.

A criminal complaint says she cursed and assaulted the girl during the May 3 flight from Anchorage. The complaint says whenever the girl tried to touch her mother’s face, Watanabe slapped the child’s hands and arms.

Federal public defender Alexander Silvert says his client is homeless and living in a shelter.

Witnesses that prosecutors expect to call include Alaska Airlines flight attendants and an Alaska State Trooper traveling with his family.

Comments (8)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up