[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
A former NYPD officer is now behind bars after allegedly murdering his own mother with a machete.
According to a news release from Queens’ District Attorney Melinda Katz, Osvaldo Diaz (pictured above) is facing 25 years to life in prison if convicted on murder and other charges filed Thursday. The DA alleges that he “attacked his mother with a machete –- to the point of near-decapitation.”
Katz said the attack took place on February 24, 2021, in an apartment that the man and his 78-year-old mother, Maria Diaz, shared above a beauty salon in Queens.
The 46-year-old man’s sister had apparently planned to run errands and take a walk with her mother, but when the sister arrived at the apartment and called her mother’s cell phone several times, there was no answer. Eventually, Diaz answered and told his sister to run errands alone. She later returned, only to be again met with unanswered calls.
Now suspicious, she asked the landlord to be brought into the apartment. Inside, she found her mother’s bleeding body wrapped in bedding, and her brother nowhere to be found. The indictment noted that video surveillance recorded Diaz leaving the apartment after his sister left for the store. A large knife was also recovered at the scene.
Maria was declared dead at the scene. Prosecutors say the suspect was on the run for a week before he was found and caught in New Jersey. He stayed there until he was brought back to Queens last week for his arraignment on a charge of second-degree murder. He also faces two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Katz said in her statement:
“This outburst of violence has devastated the victim’s family, which includes her other six children.”
The suspect was ordered to be held in jail without bail. Diaz entered a plea of not guilty, and his attorney, Jose Nieves, requested a psychiatric evaluation for his client, according to NBC New York. Nieves said he has serious concerns as to whether Diaz is competent to participate in the criminal proceedings.
Police didn’t reveal a motive for the killing but said it’s plausible it could have been connected to some sort of domestic incident. The former police officer is due back in court next month.
Our hearts go out to the victim’s loved ones.
[Image via NYPD]
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