Stabbing called self-defense


POSTED: Friday, July 10, 2009

Melchor Adviento stabbed his wife at least 16 times on her head, arm, shoulder, leg and torso in self-defense, his lawyer told a state jury yesterday.

; Adviento, 51, is on trial for second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his wife, Erlinda, 44, in their Kalihi home on Oct. 28, 2007.

His lawyer, Jonathan Burge, said Adviento was arguing with his wife about her relationship with a male co-worker when she stabbed him.

“;He struggled with his wife. At some point he got the knife away from her, and he remembers stabbing her,”; Burge said.

Police found two kitchen knives covered in blood in the home.

Deputy Prosecutor Douglas Chin said police were not able to recover any fingerprints from the knives.

At the time, Burge said, Adviento did not know how many times his wife stabbed him or how many times he stabbed his wife. In the hospital where Adviento was taken in critical condition, he discovered he had three stab wounds to his abdomen and two to his shoulder, Burge said.

Police arrested Adviento for murder after he recovered from surgery.

The state says Adviento killed his wife because she wanted to divorce him, then stabbed himself.

When Honolulu police went to the Kahaha Street residence, Adviento told them his wife was cheating, she tried to stab him, so he killed her and tried to kill himself, Chin said.

Honolulu Medical Examiner Kanthi De Alwis said Erlinda Adviento bled to death from stab wounds that punctured her heart and one of her lungs.

She said Erlinda Adviento also had what she described as defensive wounds to one elbow and both hands.

De Alwis said the cuts to the palms are consistent with someone trying to grab the blade of a knife.