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Son charged with murder following mother's death last year
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Son charged with murder following mother's death last year

Son charged with murder following mother's death last year

Jacob Sanoe Kalawaia

An area man has been charged with murder and assault in Washington County following the death of his mother last year.

Jacob Sanoe Kalawaia, 35, was charged last week with second-degree murder and first-degree domestic assault (serious physical injury).

According to a probable cause statement from the Potosi Police Department, Kalawaia contacted Washington County Dispatch on July 8 regarding his mother, 59-year-old Lisa Kalawaia, possibly having a stroke.

Kalawaia was not on scene upon arrival of authorities, and the alleged victim was transported to a hospital. The report states that Kalawaia is considered homeless but lists the address of a Potosi motel on High Street as the man's residence at the time of the incident. The man was later found and arrested on an outstanding felony warrant.

A detective reports being contacted by hospital staff at St. Anthony's Hospital, who informed him that the injured woman had suffered a stroke due to a blood clot caused by strangulation.

Additionally, medical staff reported discovering bruising around the woman's neck and left eye, indicating a possible assault.

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The report states that Potosi investigators interviewed Kalawaia at the St. Francois County Jail, where he reportedly admitted to placing his hands around his mother's neck multiple times and throwing her from the floor to the bed by her neck. The man allegedly admitted to unintentionally strangling the woman throughout the incident. Furthermore, he reportedly admitted to being angry with his mother because he believed she was faking the illness.

The report states that Kalawaia told the investigator that he had confided in his jail cellmates while detained. Police were able to interview the two cellmates, who reportedly said that Kalawaia admitted to throwing his mother around by her neck and that she struck her head on a nearby table.

The statement indicates that police received confirmation from a nurse at St. Anthony's Hospital that the alleged victim had passed away at 9:35 p.m. on July 12. An autopsy was performed at the St. Francois County Morgue by a doctor who believed the woman died from a hemorrhaging stroke. The doctor also stated there was evidence of head and facial trauma, along with neck injuries consistent with manual compression.

Kalawaia was arrested on Tuesday on the charges and booked at the Washington County Jail. The court set the man's bond at $500,000. The court ordered that Kalawaia must comply with GPS monitoring if released on bond.

The criminal complaint filed alleges that Kalawaia's actions were either the proximate cause of a blood clot entering his mother's brain, inducing a stroke, or were a contributing cause of her death after she already had a stroke.

Court documents indicate that Kalawaia is considered a persistent criminal offender with prior felony convictions and Department of Corrections commitments for second-degree burglary and forgery.

The complaint notes that Kalawaia is facing two sentences of life in prison.

Lisa Kalawaia

Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at


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