Tonga Police Not Releasing Statement How Accused Murder Suspect Evaded Recapture

Once US citizren leaves Tongan waters, it is widely expected that he will be out of reach of the Tongan justice system

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, September 30, 2016) – Tonga's Police are remaining tight-lipped today, over how an accused murder suspect managed to escape their custody yesterday and flee on his yacht, evading recapture after a dramatic five hour stand-off with police at sea NW of Vava'u.

Tonga's Commissioner of Police Steve Caldwell said only that he had ordered a full investigation into the circumstance of the escape, but declined to release any details. A four sentence media advisory from Tonga Police this afternoon stated that aerial searches were being conducted, assisted by HMAF Tonga Navy.

Dean Jay Fletcher (54), a US citizen is facing charges of murder, following the death of his wife in Vava'u on July 7 while the couple were anchored in Vava'u on the yacht “Sea Oak”.

The Crown is alleging that Fletcher had beaten his wife to death.

Police in Neiafu, Vava’u, were holding Fletcher in custody for arraignment in court on October 10.

However, he escaped police custody at Vava’u Police Station at approximately 3.30am yesterday 29 September 2016 and used his own yacht to enable his escape. Five officers on the small police search and rescue vessel located the 'Sea Oak' at 6:00am, approximately 6-10 miles NW of Vava'u, but were unable to apprehend Fletcher when he threatened to burn their boat.

The Police boat abandoned the pursuit at the end of the day at 4:30pm.

Once the fugitive leaves Tongan waters, it is widely expected that he will be out of reach of the Tongan justice system.

Matangi Tonga Magazine
Copyright © 2016 Matangi Tonga. All Rights Reserved

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