QUEENS, N.Y. — A former New York police officer has been indicted in the gruesome 2021 machete death of his 78-year-old mother, with whom he shared an apartment above a Queens beauty salon.
Osvaldo Diaz, 46, is accused of stabbing and slashing Maria Diaz to death with a machete on Feb. 24, 2021, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz confirmed Thursday in a news release.
“The defendant allegedly attacked his mother with a machete — to the point of near-decapitation,” Katz stated in the release, noting that the “outburst of violence has devastated the victim’s family, which includes her other six children.”
One of those six other children, a daughter, discovered Maria Diaz’s body after multiple attempts to reach the matriarch failed and she persuaded the property owner to allow her entry to the apartment for a wellness check, WNBC reported.
The New York Police Department confirmed to NBC News that Diaz was an employee from 2005 to 2008, when he was fired, but the circumstances of his dismissal were not immediately clear.
According to WNBC, Osvaldo Diaz was captured on surveillance video leaving the apartment prior to the discovery of Maria Diaz’s body.
Maria Diaz was pronounced dead at the scene, and Osvaldo Diaz remained at large for just over a week before being apprehended in New Jersey and extradited to Queens last week for arraignment on second-degree murder and weapons charges, the TV station reported.
Osvaldo Diaz pleaded not guilty to the charges. If convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison, NBC News reported.
Osvaldo Diaz’s attorney, Jose Nieves, told the network that he has petitioned the court for a psychiatric evaluation of his client because “I have serious concerns about Mr. Diaz’s competency to participate in this criminal proceeding.”
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