Tuesday, June 8, 2004

Former Honolulu Police Department recruit Ernie Gomez, right, headed into court yesterday with his attorney, Victor Bakke. Gomez will be arraigned June 21.

Ex-HPD recruit
to be arraigned

His wife says that he put a gun
to her head, threatening to kill her

The wife of a former police recruit said her husband put a loaded gun to her forehead and threatened to kill her because he believed she was cheating on him.

Ernie Gomez, 26, was charged with first-degree terroristic threatening for the alleged incident at the couple's Ewa Beach home on May 30.

Gomez confronted his wife and a male friend in the parking lot of the Bloch Arena that morning and threatened to "put a hole" in their heads, Sherly Gomez testified yesterday in District Court.

Sherly Gomez, 24, a sergeant in the Hawaii Army National Guard, said their four-year marriage had been in trouble. She said she had been confiding in her friend and had given him a "peck" on the cheek before her husband popped out holding a video camera.

Her husband ordered her to drive home if she wanted to see their 2-year-old daughter again, she said.

When they arrived home, she said, Gomez pulled out a gun and loaded it as their 2-year-old cried nearby. "He told me I had 'one minute to start talking before I kill you,'" she testified.

Her husband allegedly punched her and slapped her repeatedly before forcing her head back with the barrel of the gun. "He was saying, 'I'm gonna shoot you right now, but you're not worth it so I'm going to shoot you in the knees,'" she said.

He called her friend on the phone and threatened to "hunt him down" and kill him, she testified.

Her husband also called a friend who lived nearby, asking him to come over before he killed her, Sherly Gomez said. The friend managed to take away the gun and persuade Gomez to put away a knife.

Gomez told her that if she ever reported what happened to the authorities, "he would hunt me down and kill me," she testified.

Because he told her the only way he would spare her life was if she left, she packed her bags, booked a flight to the mainland and took a taxi to the airport, she said. But she changed her mind and delayed the flight because she did not want to leave without her daughter.

During questioning by defense attorney Victor Bakke, Sherly Gomez denied she was having an affair and said she did not immediately report what happened because she was concerned about seeing her daughter again.

She said she called police the next day because she was afraid something would happen to her.

District Judge Barbara Richardson found probable cause to believe Gomez committed the offenses and bound the case over to Circuit Court. He will be arraigned June 21.

Outside the courtroom, Bakke said Gomez claims his wife made up the story because of an ongoing custody battle over their daughter. "It's all about custody and why she didn't call the cops and why he showed up with a camera."

Gomez had a "perfect military record" and was doing well at the police academy, Bakke said. Gomez resigned from the academy Wednesday, a police spokeswoman said.


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