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Ogden woman faces trial in stabbing death

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OGDEN -- A 34-year-old Ogden woman has been ordered to stand trial in the stabbing death of her ex-boyfriend.

Rebecca Mercado is charged with murder, a first-degree felony, for the Dec. 29 stabbing of Trent Kayakami, 35. If convicted, Mercado could be sentenced to serve five years to life in prison.Second District Judge W. Brent West accepted her not guilty plea following a recent hearing and set a two-week trial to begin June 21. He also lowered Mercado's bail from $20,000 to $10,000. She has remained in jail since her arrest.

Neither prosecutor Bill Daines nor defense attorney Martin Gravis made closing remarks after the three-hour hearing. However, Gravis told Daines that he would argue self-defense during the trial.

Mercado admitted to the police that she stabbed Kayakami after he came into her apartment in central Ogden. Autopsy reports revealed that Kayakami died from one stab wound to the abdomen with an 8-inch kitchen knife. Several internal organs were punctured.

In a written statement, Mercado told police that Kayakami came into her apartment intoxicated and started pushing her around. The victim weighed 202 lbs. and stood 6 feet 4 inches.

Ogden police domestic violence investigator Danielle Croyle said Mercado was brought to the station after she called 911 for help and that the defendant was first treated as a victim of domestic violence.

But upon talking further with Mercado and other detectives who were investigating the case, Croyle decided to arrest.

Croyle said Mercado stated that Kayakami was intoxicated inside her apartment so she decided to call his current girlfriend to come get him because she didn't want to take care of him. Mercado allegedly told the detective that Kayakami took the telephone away from her and hung it up.

Croyle testified that Mercado then said Kayakami started "jerking" her around by the front of her shirt and said "He (Kayakami) was so drunk he couldn't stand up."

Croyle also testified about a written statement in which Mercado said she stabbed the man because "I was not going to get hit again."

Croyle said the defendant then grabbed a knife off the kitchen counter and pushed him back while he was still "jerking" her around. Mercado said she pushed Kayakami out the door into the hallway, stabbed him and shut the door. A few seconds later, Mercado said, she opened the door and saw the victim bleeding and immediately called 911.

Croyle said she decided to arrest Mercado after the interview because she could find no obvious signs of physical abuse, because Mercado admitted she was never threatened by the deceased, and because Mercado could have left her apartment at any time.