Defense blames machete attack on intoxication - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Defense blames machete attack on intoxication

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Armando Vergara-Martinez appears in a courtroom at the Regional Justice Center on Tuesday, Feb. 25. (FOX5) Armando Vergara-Martinez appears in a courtroom at the Regional Justice Center on Tuesday, Feb. 25. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

A jury is seated in the case of a man charged with beating his ex-girlfriend before cutting off her hands with a machete.

The court on Tuesday was shown graphic images and listened to gruesome details concerning the 2012 attack on Maria Gomez, all while the defendant, Armando Vergara-Martinez, silently looked on.

Defense attorneys are attempting to convince jurors that Vergara-Martinzez was too drunk during the attack in North Las Vegas to know what he was doing.

"Armando sits here, ashamed of himself, as he should be," one of the defense attorneys said.

Jurors were instructed not to let the graphic images sway them.

"He was acting with a plan - deliberate, exact intent to kill Maria, and you will have not a doubt in your minds that the defendant wanted Maria dead," prosecutor Elana Lee Graham said.

Prosecutors said Vergara-Martinez visited Gomez at the grocery store where she worked the night of the attack, later waiting for her in the parking lot. Defense attorneys said the machete he used in the attack was a tool from his landscaping job.

"Armando is taking responsibility for what he did. At the conclusion of this trial, we'll ask you to find him guilty of two incredibly serious felonies," an attorney for the defense said.

The defense said Vergara-Martinez is an alcoholic who is responsible for the attack, but was too intoxicated to knowingly attempt to kill Gomez. They said investigators never performed a blood test on him.

The jury also heard from Domingo Cortez, who was dating Gomez when the attack occurred. He claimed Vergara-Martinez acted out of jealousy.

Toward the end of Tuesday's testimony, the defendant's brother read a letter which he said Vergara-Martinez wrote to their parents prior to the attack. The letter was read in Spanish and translated by an interpreter.

The letter read:

"Father, mother, forgive me for everything bad that I am going to do with Maria. I never could accept it – the betrayal she did upon me with another person. She was going with me and was going with me and was going with another one. I could not stand that. Tell my children to forgive me for what I have done. I love you very much."

Testimony is scheduled to resume Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.

Gomez died from cancer later in 2012.

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