Attorney: 88-year old man's hammer attack on wife was a "clumsy act of desperation and compassion"

Posted at 12:10 PM, Sep 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-13 18:48:11-04

Martin Turkiewicz, 88, fought back tears while standing next to his attorney in a Cheektowaga Courtroom Wednesday morning.

Turkiewicz stands accused of assault and attempted murder after it's alleged he used a hammer to attack his wife while she was a patient at a Cheektowaga nursing home Saturday evening.

After waiving his right to a preliminary hearing, Turkiewicz's attorney described his client's actions as "a clumsy act of desperation and compassion."

Turkiewicz's daughter took the stand, describing Martin as a "a man who wears his heart on his sleave, always willing to help anyone."  Martin was also the primary caregiver for his wife, and a son who is blind and lives at home with Turkiewicz.

She continued to say her mother, 86-year-old Rita Turkiewicz, had several rehab stays for infections and falls in the past, "but it was this one that my mom's dementia was taking hold.  She would not eat, participate in physical therapy and gain the strength to come home."

Bail was set for Martin Turkiewicz at $10,000 cash or $50,000 bond.  Conditions of that bail also include his daughter staying home with him and his blind son and Martin following an order of protection, prohibiting him from contacting his wife Rita.