McArdle has initial hearing

Bloomington resident Evan McArdle, 19, faced his initial hearing Wednesday afternoon on the charges of attempted murder, criminal confinement, domestic battery and a previous charge of theft.

He was arrested for these charges Monday in addition to a charge of intimidation.

Police led McArdle, along with many others in jail or prison uniforms and shackles around their ankles, into the courtroom.

When McArdle was called up, he spoke politely with Judge Mary Ellen Diekhoff as she read him the charges brought against him. 

McArdle allegedly stabbed his father-in-law late Saturday night, according to a probable cause affidavit, and he was arrested Monday afternoon. 

Police were called to the apartment of McArdle and his wife, Tabitha, where they saw three people arguing and yelling in the parking lot. 

According to the affidavit, Tabitha said she called her parents after Evan repeatedly slammed her head against a door on the back porch. Police discovered cuts and bruises on Tabitha’s face to corroborate this information, according to the affidavit. 

When her parents arrived, her mother decided to stay in the vehicle while her father, Steven Martinez, approached the door with a piece of a pipe police called a "cheater bar," according to the affidavit. The tool is technically called a breaker bar.

Accounts differ on what happened next. Evan claimed Martinez told him that he was taking Tabitha away and started packing her things, according to the affidavit. When Evan was asking what was going on, he claimed Martinez hit him in the head with the breaker bar, at which point he pulled his knife in self-defense. 

Evan claimed that after stabbing Martinez twice on purpose and once on accident, he gave the knife to Tabitha, who stabbed Evan twice in the same spot on the shoulder and slashed him. He said this all happened in the house, but police found no blood in the apartment, according to the affidavit. 

Martinez claimed that when he arrived to get Tabitha, Evan freaked out, stood behind her and put his knife to her chest, saying she was not allowed to leave. 

Martinez told police he brought the breaker bar because Evan was known to carry a knife and had made death threats in the past, according to the affidavit. He said he grabbed Tabitha from Evan and swung his tool to keep Evan at bay. However, Martinez said he didn’t think it hit him. 

That’s when Evan allegedly attacked Martinez with the knife and he fell backward, hitting his head on the concrete. Martinez remembered getting slashed once but didn’t realize he had two puncture wounds on his left side until paramedics told him later, according to the affidavit. 

Where his account blurs from his head injury, Tabitha’s completes. She claimed she told Evan to stop, and he dropped the knife but repeatedly kicked her father in the face. Police found bruising on the right side of Martinez’s face, according to the affidavit. 

Tabitha said she stabbed Evan two or three times to defend her father, whom she thought Evan was going to kill. 

Tabitha said there have been two other physical altercations between her husband and father. Tabitha, her mother and her father all said they heard Evan make threats in the past to kill Martinez, according to the affidavit. 

After reviewing evidence and interviews, police determined that Martinez and Tabitha were acting in defense of each other and that Evan intentionally tried to kill Martinez. 

Evan’s next court appearance will be September 12 at 9:00 a.m. for his bail review. 

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