Diaz Murder Conviction And Sentence Stand

Nov 24, 2016

Maricela Diaz, escorted by Hanson County Sheriff Randy Bartlett, during the time of her prosecution. Photo by Matt Gade of The Daily Republic of Mitchell, used with permission.
Credit Matt Gade/The Daily Republic

The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld the murder conviction of Maricela Diaz. She was 15 years old when she and her boyfriend tortured, stabbed, and burned to death a 16-year-old girl near Mitchell.

Diaz claims the sentencing judge did not thoroughly take into consideration her dependency on her abusive boyfriend and her young age when he sentenced her to 80 years in prison.

But the state Supreme Court has ruled that the trial judge took great care to consider Diaz's age and dependency, as well as her home life and her chances for rehabilitation. SDPB's Victoria Wicks reports.

To read the opinion in its entirety, click on the link below:

http://ujs.sd.gov/uploads/sc/opinions/27432.pdf