Provo murder suspect just like everybody else



    The friend of Lipina Lolohea, the 17-year-old girl accused of murdering a Provo resident, said that Lolohea is “normal.”

    Mafileo Latu, a 17-year-old freshman from Orem majoring in piano performance and pre-medicine, is Lolohea’s friend from high school.

    “She likes hanging out with her friends, listening to music and going to the movies,” Latu said. “She has the same dreams and aspirations as everyone else.”

    Latu said that Lolohea is intelligent, and education is a priority for her family. The family moved from Oakland, Calif., to allow the children to grow up in a better environment.

    Latu said the family was close.

    “Pina was always happy to be around her family,” she said. “Many times she was seen walking her grandmother to go shopping.”

    An example of Lolohea’s family support, Latu said, is that her father went with her to the police station when Lolohea turned herself in.

    The family is dealing with the situation the best they can, she said.

    Her family is active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Latu said.

    “She went to church every Sunday, and she went to seminary,” she said “She was a funny girl. She loved to play jokes on people once you got to know her,” Latu said.

    “I hope the media will not be so judgmental as they have been, but be more respectful to the goodness of Pina and her family,” Latu said. “I hope the facts will come out to meet the requirements of the law and allow Pina a normal and happy life.”

    Latu said she went to school with Lolohea at Orem Senior High School.

    But, Tim Brantley, assistant principal at Orem High, said Lolohea’s records have been transferred to Alpine Life and Learning Center, the alternative school for the Alpine School District.

    Jaynee Long, receptionist for Alpine Life and Learning Center, said that students often take a class at Alpine because they could not fit the class into there schedule at there regular high school or because they have to work. Long said she could not comment on Lolohea as a student.

    Lolohea’s waiver hearing is Monday at the 4th District Court before Judge Lynn Davis, said Judge Anthony W. Schofield.At the hearing, the judge will determine the probability of a crime being committed and the probability that Lolohea committed the crime, said Kay Bryson, county attorney.

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