Murdered Teen’s Mom Takes The Stand
Maricela Diaz Trial Begins Five Years After Jasmine Guevara Was Murdered
It’s been more than five years since 16-year-old Jasmine Guevara was murdered.
Monday, Maricela Diaz was on trial in Minnehaha County, accused of killing Guevara alongside her boyfriend.
Many tears were shed inside the courtroom as witnesses took the stand and recounted the days leading up to the death of Jasmine Guevara.
“She was a normal girl, happy, outgoing, and very responsible for her age,” said Ada Morales, Jasmine’s Mother.
Ada Morales fought back tears while trying to describe the night of November 10th, 2009, when her daughter Jasmine Guevara went missing.
“I was very concerned,” said Morales. “I was very scared. I was freaking out. I was looking for her all over.”
While Morales frantically searched for her 16-year-old daughter, police responded to a vehicle fire in rural Hanson County.
But little did Morales know that it was Jasmine’s car that was on fire.
“The interior of the vehicle essentially was burnt out,” said Tyler Neuharth, Special Agent with South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. “There was no upholstery in the seats. Literally nothing left in the interior of the vehicle.”
Shortly after discovering the burning vehicle, police linked the car to Ada Morales, and showed up on her doorstep to alert her.
“’If you found the car, how come you don’t know where my daughter is,’” said Morales. “And they then said, “’Well, we’re still searching for her.’”
Morales says it was every parent’s nightmare.
“It makes me feel very bad,” said Morales. “I felt like my soul was coming out of my body. I felt like my heart was squeezing. I feel like everything was wrong at that time.”
Diaz’s boyfriend, Alexander Salgado, pleaded guilty to murder in the case in 2010, and is serving life in prison.
Prosecutors called Diaz a jealous teen who made a choice to kill.
Defense attorneys countered that her boyfriend abused Diaz and demanded that she take the blame for Guevara’s murder.
The trial continues Tuesday morning.