Road rage stabbing suspect could claim self-defense, legal experts say

Legal experts: Freeway stabbing suspect could claim self-defense
Attorney William Harrison (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Attorney William Harrison (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The man accused of stabbing three people in a road rage-fueled incident Monday could claim self-defense, legal experts say.

"If you feel your life is being threatened, then you can respond to protect yourself," said attorney William Harrison.

In fact, whether 58-year-old Mark Char ever felt threatened during the incident could be central to his legal defense.

Police say Char allegedly used pepper spray before stabbing the three men on the H-1 Freeway.

Harrison says a self-defense claim could might stand up in court.

In court documents, witnesses say Char provoked the confrontation and even rammed 22-year old Jesther Marlang's car.

But Marlang and a passenger apparently got out of their car and approached Char first. That's when Char allegedly blasted Marlang with pepper spray.

Witnesses told police that Marlang then ran at Char, who started stabbing him, the passenger and a good Samaritan who tried to intervene.

But, Harrison says, there is a hitch in the self-defense claim.

"The law says yes, you can't provoke someone to do something in that nature, but the question is, what was the provocation and how far did that provocation go in terms of a response?"

Char is accused of taking numerous aggressive actions before the fight, including making a gun gesture with his hand toward one of the victims.

They say he slowed down and sped up to stay with them in traffic, before pulling in front of their car to block them in. And during the fight, witnesses say Char held on to the victim's shirt as the man tried to run away.

Court documents also show Char's wife called 911 after the stabbing and said her husband had been assaulted and was injured.

Char's history of violence might also play a role in the case.

When the stabbing happened, Char was already facing numerous pending felony cases, including for terroristic threatening, negligent injury and weapons charges.

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