Man accused of fatally stabbing wife testifies it was self-defense

Melchor Adviento
Melchor Adviento
Erlinda Adviento
Erlinda Adviento

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - A man accused of murdering his wife at their Kalihi home two years ago testified at his trial Tuesday. Melchor Adviento doesn't deny stabbing his wife, but says he acted in self-defense.

"She tried to kill me," he said. "I kill her."

Melchor Adviento breaks down as he describes how he plunged a kitchen knife into his wife of more than 20 years.

"I have the chance to grab her right arm and I never let go," he said. "I just stab her."

Leading up to that day, the defendant says Erlinda Adviento, 44, talked about divorcing him and accused him of cheating on her.

He tells the jury he became frustrated on October 28, 2007, when he heard his wife in the bedroom talking to someone on the phone.

"Tell us again what you heard," Jonathan Burge, defense attorney, said.

"Sweetheart, will it be okay that I don't have any present to you," Adviento responded.

He says they argued, and Erlinda came at him with two knives and stabbed him in the abdomen.

"I found I had blood on my stomach," he said. "I looked at her. I was surprised that she had both knife on her."

He says they struggled and he managed to disarm her.

"I thought I was going to die. I got plenty blood," the defendant said before breaking down. "I just stab her. I don't know how many times."

After Erlinda, the mother of his three children, stopped moving, Adviento says he slit his wrists.

"Cut," he demonstrated to the jury.

"Why would you do that?" Burge asked.

"She wanted me dead," the defendant replied.

Prosecutors say it was murder, not self-defense, and grill Adviento on the witness stand, asking him to provide more details.

"I told you, sir, I have no idea which part I got stabbed. I don't know which part she get stabbed," he told Douglas Chin, deputy prosecutor. "I wasn't paying attention. Were you, if you were in my case, would you be paying attention to that one?"

After his testimony, the judge reminded Adviento of the defense of extreme mental or emotional disturbance -- or EMED -- which opens up the possibility of the lesser offense of manslaughter. But the defendant rejected EMED, maintains it was self-defense, and is going for an acquittal.

The jury is expected to hear closing arguments Thursday.