A Genesee man was charged with aggravated battery with an enhancement for great bodily harm during a preliminary hearing Thursday in the in Latah County 2nd District Court.
Eliseo DeLeon Tye was originally charged with attempted first-degree murder and burglary with the intent to commit a felony April 7, after allegedly stabbing his ex-wife, Shelby Smith, 14 times in her Moscow apartment.
According to police reports, DeLeon Tye said he entered Smith’s residence to retrieve a flashdrive he believed he’d lost in the divorce, and if he didn’t recover it, he was told by a man named Gemini that his sister’s life would be in jeopardy. The flashdrive was said to contain “important information for the family business,” and worth more than $1 million.
During the hearing, Latah County District Attorney William Thompson Jr. called several of the arresting officers to the stand to testify, as well as Smith. Officer Jason House said the Moscow Police Department (MPD) responded to a report from a resident in a neighboring apartment of thumping noises and screaming. They came upon the crime scene at approximately 12:23 a.m.
House said the responding officers had trouble locating the disturbance, and when they were about to leave the scene, he noticed only one apartment had its light on in the entire complex. He said he looked through its window and saw a woman covered in blood on the floor.
Sgt. Art Lindquist said they knocked three times before entering the unlocked apartment with their guns drawn. Lindquist said they found DeLeon Tye walking toward the door with a knife in his pocket, covered in blood.
Officer Gary Whitmore said DeLeon Tye asked police to kill him as they entered the apartment, but he was arrested without resisting.
Whitmore drove him to the MPD where he conducted an interview, and said DeLeon Tye admitted to stabbing Smith, particularly in the lower back to puncture a kidney after she’d escaped from a choke hold.
Whitmore said DeLeon Tye called the case “a slam dunk for any prosecutor.”
Smith was the last to testify, telling the court she awoke when the light in her bedroom was turned on and a masked intruder ran at her with a knife. She said she recognized the assailant as her ex-husband when his mask fell off.
She said she screamed as loud as she could and struggled with DeLeon Tye until he threw her to the floor and began stabbing her. In the midst of the attack, she said he asked her if she preferred to die fast or slow.
She said she ended up with several stab wounds to her torso and puncture wounds to multiple organs, including a lung, her liver and her colon.
Defense attorney Catherine Mabbutt did not call anyone to the stand in the hearing.
Thompson said he asked for the amended charge because it could potentially result in a longer prison sentence. He also asked for the burglary charge to be enhanced and the continuance of a no-contact order between Smith and DeLeon Tye, which Judge John Judge approved as well.
If convicted, DeLeon Tye faces up to 45 years in the Idaho State Penitentiary, plus the possibility of an additional five for the use of a deadly weapon.
DeLeon Tye remains in the Latah County Jail on a $100,000 bond, and his next court appearance is scheduled for June 5 at 1:30 p.m.
Olivia Heersink can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @heersinkolivia