A judge made bail next to impossible for a Border Patrol agent accused of using a hatchet to attack an Escondido couple in their home.
Escondido police investigators say Gamalier Reyes Rivera, 32, used a hatchet in what may be a case of mistaken identity turned brutal crime.
Neighbors said Rivera lived in an Imperial Beach apartment with his wife and their 7-year-old daughter but sometime over the past few weeks his wife and daughter had moved out.
On Thursday, June 10, Rivera entered a home on Upas Street where his estranged wife Erika Von Der Heyde had been staying with the couple's daughter, according to investigators.
Detectives say he went inside another couple’s bedroom and struck a 29-year-old man several times in the back and neck with the hatchet and then wounded a 21-year-old woman in the legs. Investigators said it doesn't appear Rivera knew the victims and he might have actually been targeting his estranged wife.
"There's a couple of different scenarios and one of them is a case of mistaken identity," Lt. Bon Benton said.
In his court appearance Monday, Rivera sat still looking straight ahead. Judge Marshall Hockett ordered media outlets to tilize Rivera's face.
Prosecutors argued that Rivera is a flight risk since his job provides him the opportunity to get back and forth over the U.S.-Mexico border. The judge agreed and ordered Rivera held on $10 million bail.
Rivera faces seven counts - aggravated mayhem, torture and attempted murder in regards to the first victim and aggravated mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon, torture and burglary in regards to the second victim.
The male victim is in guarded condition according to the deputy district attorney. The female victim was treated and released.