Tuesday, April 17, 2012 | 3:15 p.m.
Machete attack in parking lot
A man accused of severing his girlfriend's hands in a bloody machete attack March 21 in North Las Vegas plans to plead guilty to an attempted murder charge, according to his attorney.
Armando Vergara-Martinez, 49, on Tuesday waived his preliminary hearing and told North Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Natalie Tyrrell that he wanted to plead guilty to a charge of attempted murder with a deadly weapon.
The judge set Vergara-Martinez’s arraignment for 9 a.m. April 30 in the lower-level courtroom in Clark County District Court, the man's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Steven Yeager, said.
Yeager said a District Court judge could sentence Vergara-Martinez to a prison term of from four to 40 years. Vergara-Martinez was being held in the Clark County Detention Center on $250,000 bail.
North Las Vegas Police responded to a call of a stabbing in progress at 11:23 p.m. March 21, an arrest report said. When officers arrived at the Green Valley Grocery, 530 E. Craig Road, they heard someone shout, “He’s stabbing her,” the report said.
Drawing their guns, officers approached a small, green four-door car. On the ground next to it, they saw a Hispanic man and woman beside one another covered in blood, the report said.
Vergara-Martinez was bleeding from a cut on his neck and was next to a woman later identified as 52-year-old Maria Gomez, according to the report.
Police say Vergara-Martinez was the woman’s boyfriend.
Gomez’s head appeared to be split open as if she had been scalped and her hands were severed at the wrists, the report said. Her head, shirt and legs were covered in blood.
An 18- to 20-inch silver machete was found about three feet away from the couple, the report said.
Yeager said Gomez, who had surgery to reattach her hands, appeared in court Tuesday and was prepared to testify at the preliminary hearing.