CASPER — Police say they found Robert Broyles covered in blood, carrying a hatchet in one hand and a knife in the other. He was charged with attempted murder. Broyles says the man recovering from a knife wound to the head is the actual culprit.
Early Wednesday morning, police responded to a reported assault near the river at Morad Park after hearing that a man was stabbed there and had been taken to Wyoming Medical Center.
Upon arrival, police heard Broyles yell, "I'm going to kill you," at a woman in a tree, later determined to be his common law wife. Police say the woman became combative with the officers, and she and Broyles were arrested.
The alleged male victim later told police he was drinking with Broyles and his wife when Broyles became enraged, believing there was a romantic relationship developing between the victim and his wife.
The man said Broyles physically attacked both of the presumed transgressors but reserved the knife for the male victim. The man said Broyles stabbed him in the head, and the victim attempted to block subsequent knife attacks. The victim's surgeon told police that the blade had penetrated the man's skull and stopped just short of his brain.
"I was trying to survive," he told police at the hospital. "At that point, I was trying to live."
While in custody, Broyles declined to speak with police without a lawyer present. His wife was more talkative but not forthcoming.
When asked for a description of her assailant, she responded the man was a "yuppie wearing khaki pants, a blue shirt and a baseball cap," while eyeing her interrogator. According to court documents, the woman "described what Detective Wilhelm was wearing." She also repeatedly told him to "s--- her d---."
At Broyles' initial appearance before a judge on Thursday, the defendant made several attempts to interject and tell his side of the story.
"I have a witness ..." he started twice before the judge told him that he would have a chance to speak at another time.
Later, Broyles asked the judge how to file charges against his alleged assailant and claimed the hatchet wasn't his.
"I didn't do this to me," Broyles said of his noticeably black eye. "I am the victim."
Broyles was charged with a string of felonies, including attempted second-degree murder, aggravated assault and threatening with a deadly weapon.
The state requested a $500,000 bond, listing Broyles' "fairly lengthy" criminal record. The judge settled on $100,000. Before being escorted out, Broyles turned to a woman seated in the courtroom and mouthed "I love you."