Officer Denies Guilt in Deaths

From a Times Staff Writer

A Compton police officer pleaded innocent Friday to charges of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of two unarmed Samoan-American brothers, whose deaths last February sparked an uproar in the Samoan community.

Alfred Skiles, 44, entered his plea before Superior Court Judge Alexander Williams. Trial was set for Feb. 24.

Skiles is charged with shooting Pouvi Tualaulelei, 34, and his brother, Itali, 22, a total of 19 times after responding to a domestic disturbance call at their Compton home. Coroner's reports showed the brothers, who died at the scene, had been shot both from the front and the back.

The officer, a 13-year veteran, does not dispute the shooting, but maintains he fired in self-defense. However, witnesses have said Skiles verbally abused the brothers and shot them without provocation at point-blank range while they were kneeling on the ground.

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