|Pictured Above: Ricardo Diaz. Source: Orange County Register.|
Ricardo Dagoberto Diaz is charged with the robbery and murder of a jewelry salesman in 2005. Diaz testified that he came home to see Mario Hernandez, a jewelry salesman, pulling his mom’s hair. Diaz then grabbed golf clubs and hit Hernandez with them. At that point, Hernandez pulled out a pocketknife and threatened to kill Diaz and his mother, so Diaz stabbed Hernandez with his own knife. Diaz then got electrical tape and tied it around Hernandez’s neck, strangling him to death. He claims that his mother, Rebeca Nivarez-Diaz, then told him to dispose of the body. Diaz and his mother tossed Hernandez’s body in a dumpster near some apartments.
Throughout the years, Diaz has always claimed that he was acting in self defense. However, recently police recorded Diaz talking to his sister and stating that his mother had set the whole murder up and Diaz had not acted in self defense. Diaz’s mother has already been convicted of first degree murder and robbery and is serving a 25-year-to-life term in prison.
California has a felony-murder rule that creates murder liability for individuals who kill another human being during the commission of a dangerous felony. The death must be logically connected to the felony to be charged with felony-murder. First-degree felony-murder is the murder of someone during the commission of an enumerated felony. Enumerated felonies under the first-degree felony murder rule include: arson, burglary, robbery, carjacking, mayhem, certain sex crimes, kidnapping, and torture.