HONOLULU (KHNL) - An Oahu man, accused of stabbing his wife to death two years ago, says she attacked him with the knives first. Melchor Adviento broke down in tears on day one of his murder trial.
Melchor and Erlinda Adviento moved to Hawaii from the Philippines, were married for more than 20 years, and had three children.
It all came to a bloody end inside their Kalihi home on a Sunday afternoon in October 2007.
"Mr. Adviento stabbed his wife 16 times using the kitchen knife, using kitchen knives that she had used to cook his meals," Douglas Chin, first deputy prosecutor, said to the jury.
Erlinda Adviento, 44, was killed.
Prosecutors say the defendant thought his wife was cheating on him and was going to leave him.
"That's when things turned deadly," Chin said. "You see, Mr. Adviento wasn't going to accept that."
But the defense says he simply reacted when she came after him with two knives and stabbed him in the abdomen.
"He thought he was going to die," Jonathan Burge, defense attorney, said. "He struggled with his wife. At some point he got the knife away from her, and he remembers stabbing."
"You look at the stab wounds, you can see that this is a frantic stabbing that went on there," Burge said.
The defense says Melchor Adviento tried to die with his wife by cutting his wrists before police arrived.
Honolulu's chief medical examiner is the first witness to testify. She describes all of the victim's wounds, including several on her hands.
"There were different cuts and we refer to these as defense wounds," Kanthi De Alwis, M.D., Honolulu medical examiner, said.