Trial Starts for Man Accused of Machete Attack - 8 News NOW

Trial Starts for Man Accused of Machete Attack

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Maria Gomez Maria Gomez
Armando Vergara-Martinez is facing attempted murder charges. Armando Vergara-Martinez is facing attempted murder charges.

LAS VEGAS -- Victims of domestic violence are demanding justice in the case involving a man accused of cutting off his ex-girlfriend's hands with a machete.

Armando Vergara-Martinez is facing attempted murder charges. Jury selection in his trial began Monday. Both of Maria Gomez's hands were severed at the wrist. She survived the machete attack, but died from cancer six months later. Before she died, she spoke out about domestic violence. Her friends showed up at the courthouse to keep her message alive.

"If  can't use my hands, I will use my voice," they chanted.

Friends of Gomez, some of them domestic violence victims, plan to follow the trial closely.

Vergara-Martinez is charged with attempted murder with a deadly weapon and mayhem. The sheer brutality of the crime has received attention at domestic violence shelters across the country.

"Maria put her hands like that, not knowing what's going on, and before she could do anything, he grabbed the machete and hacked both her hands, and the hands fell on the floor," said Rebeca Ferreira with Safe Faith United. "We are here in support of not only Maria Gomez, but all of the victims whose voices have been silenced forever and all of the victims that are awaiting court."

Ferreira hopes this case will get the attention of judges, police officers, and the public to help turn the tide against domestic violence. Nevada has the embarrassing distinction of having among the highest domestic violence fatality rate in the country. This case demonstrates the how horrible it can be for victims.

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