LIHUE — Jury selection began Monday in Fifth Circuit Court for a man police say tried to kill one man and injured another with a machete at Anini Beach.
Kyle Matthew Welch, 28, is charged with attempted murder in the second degree and terroristic threatening in the first degree. His trial is expected to last a week and a half and more than a dozen witnesses are expected to testify. He appeared before Chief Judge Randal Valenciano with defense counsel Craig De Costa.
Welch was arrested on Jan. 9, 2014, after police responded to a call regarding an argument at a campsite, west of the river at the end of Anini Road.
The argument was over religion and music and became violent enough that Welch attacked one of the men, according to police reports. The third man tried to break up the fight, but Welch allegedly threatened him with a machete, reports added.
Kauai Police Department Officer Brad Candido later found Welch near the scene holding a guitar and a machete.
Welch was “covered in what appeared to be blood droplets, blood smears, and he had minor injuries consistent with a physical altercation,” police reports stated.
One of the victims of the alleged incident was transported to Wilcox Memorial Hospital Emergency Room, where he was treated for a fractured neck, fractured back, multiple fractured ribs, both lungs collapsed, and his right ear nearly torn off.
The victim had also gone into cardiac arrest during the transport, police said in their reports. He was eventually medevaced to Queen’s Medical Center on Oahu.
Twelve jurors and four alternates will be selected by this morning and witness testimony could begin this afternoon.