WAILUKU - Bleeding from cuts on his head and wrist after a machete was swung at him, a man testified he had fallen on his back onto the ground when he saw Edward R. Martin holding the machete overhead and pointing it down.
"I told myself this is the end of my life," said Vicente Baldos Jr., describing the attack that began at 5:45 a.m. Sunday as he was leaving a residence on Molokai Akau Street in Kahului with Martin's estranged wife. "He held the machete to my stomach and said, 'I will kill you now.' "
During a preliminary hearing Friday afternoon in Wailuku District Court, Baldos identified Martin, whom he knows as Popeye, as the machete-wielding attacker who also shot Baldos in the upper arm with a pellet gun that morning.
Vicente Baldos Jr. holds his hands about 2 1/2 feet apart to indicate the length of the blade of a machete that struck him on the head, wrist and hand during an attack Sunday morning at a Kahului residence. Edward R. Martin, who is also known as Popeye, is charged with second-degree attempted murder and first-degree terroristic threatening of Baldos.
The Maui News / LILA FUJIMOTO photo
Edward R. Martin, who is also known as Popeye, listens to testimony during his preliminary hearing Friday in Wailuku District Court. He is charged with second-degree attempted murder and first-degree terroristic threatening of another man Sunday morning at a Kahului residence.
The Maui News / LILA FUJIMOTO photo
Judge Adrianne Heely ruled there was sufficient evidence to support charges of second-degree attempted murder and first-degree terroristic threatening against Martin, 55, of Waiehu. He is being held without bail at the Maui Community Correctional Center.
On Sunday morning, Baldos said he was going to drive Martin's wife to her sister's house to see her son. Baldos said he had helped the woman into the passenger seat of his car and was opening the driver's door when "something hit me on the head."
"I started bleeding right away," Baldos said. "I turned around, and I saw him (Martin). He had a long machete. He was swinging it at me, and I was trying to shield my face.
"He said he will kill me, . . . He was very angry. I was just looking at the machete. It was coming back and forth."
After being first cut the head right above his forehead, Baldos said he was sliced on the hand as he tried to shield his face. "While he was swinging, I was pleading with him, 'Please don't kill me. It's not worth it,' " Baldos said.
He said he fell backward to end up on his back on the ground when he saw Martin holding the machete overhead toward Baldos' stomach.
Baldos, who was wearing steel-toe work boots, said he managed to kick Martin in the stomach, causing him to fall. Then, Baldos said he grabbed the machete away from Martin. "That's where it cut my hand," Baldos said, indicating his right hand that was bandaged.
"If you hadn't kicked him, what would have happened?" Deputy Prosecutor Carson Tani asked.
"I could have lose my life that day," Baldos replied. "I could have died."
The 58-year-old Baldos said that at 5-foot-4 and 168 pounds, he is smaller than Martin. According to the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center, Martin is 5-foot-9 and weighs 267 pounds.
After taking away the machete, Baldos said he continued pleading with Martin to stop.
"When he stood up, he said, 'If you survive my machete, I will kill you with my gun,' " Baldos said.
He said Martin ran toward a fence to get a gun resembling an M16 rifle. From about 6 feet away, Martin pointed the weapon at Baldos, he said. "Lucky thing it was just a pellet gun," Baldos said.
He was shot in the upper right arm.
All of a sudden, perhaps because Martin heard approaching police sirens, he ran, Baldos said. "He just took his gun and said, 'I'll be back.' "
Martin was arrested the next evening when he turned himself in at the Wailuku Police Station.
Baldos said he required seven staples for the cut above his forehead, two stitches to his left tricep and seven stitches on his left forearm above his wrist. The injury to his right hand from grabbing the machete blade was the worst, he said, going through his ring finger and cutting a tendon. He underwent a three-hour reconstructive surgery for the injury, Baldos said.
The night before he was attacked, Baldos said he had been helping Martin's estranged wife move into the Kahului residence, along with her brother-in-law. At 10:15 p.m., Martin showed up and accused Baldos of having an intimate relationship with the woman, Baldos said. He said Martin said, "I'll get you for this."
"He threw four or five punches at me," Baldos said, before the brother-in-law grabbed Martin.
Baldos said he told Martin, "Let's not fight over this. It's between you and your wife. I'm just helping her."
Martin left when he heard police sirens, Baldos said.
Baldos said that he and Martin's estranged wife used to be co-workers.
Martin is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 22 in 2nd Circuit Court.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.