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Jury deliberates case of mother accused of beating tot on flight to Hawaii

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / MAY 22

    Samantha Leialoha Watanabe is pictured outside of federal court in Honolulu.

Jurors are deliberating whether a mother is guilty of assaulting her 15-month-old daughter during a flight from Alaska to Hawaii.

A jury of 10 women and two men began deliberating today in the case against Samantha Leialoha Watanabe.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Wallenstein says in his closing statement that flight attendants testified they have seen people treat luggage better than Watanabe treated the toddler.

Prosecutors say Watanabe cursed at her daughter Clementine, smacked her in the head, hit her in the face with a stuffed doll and yanked out tufts of her hair. They say passengers and flight attendants on the May 3 Alaska Airlines flight believed Watanabe was unnecessarily rough to a generally well-behaved toddler.

Watanabe’s defense attorneys say she didn’t do anything beyond permissible parental discipline.

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      • What you all are attempting to say is that parents that have been abused as a child will tend to visit the same to their children? Could be but not in all cases. Sure appears as though this individual has an identity problem, with stud scars above her eyes and tattoos about her neck to broadcast her self.

  • Did anyone take a video? Ask her if it is okay if someone were to treat her the same way? Like Pocho mentioned, maybe she was treated like that. She looks like some druggie. Take the baby away and give her to some family that will love her.

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