Maricela Diaz Sentenced To 80 Years In Prison For Murder Of Mitchell Teen
"I will be sad for the rest of my life," said Ada Morales, the victim's mother.
Maricela Diaz was barely a teenager when she helped murder another teenage girl. Now, that decision could cost her 80 years of her life.
In January, a jury found Diaz guilty on all charges relating to the 2009 death of a Jasmine Guevara. Friday, a judge sentenced Diaz to 80 years in prison for first degree murder and 50 years for aggravated assault, which will be served concurrently.
The sentencing in Alexandria took most of the day, where prosecutors held up a picture of Guevara, then a picture of her burned body after her death. A short time later, 20-year-year-old Diaz learned her fate.
“I will be sad for the rest of my life,” said Guevara’s mother Ada Morales.
Nearly five and a half years after the 16-year-old’s death, her mother and sister spoke about the things Jasmine will never experience.
“I wanted her to see the life, the beautiful life that she took away,” said Jasmine’s sister Ada Guevara.
Guevara says no words can describe the hurt, pain and trauma her family has endured. She described her younger sister as the first person to lend a hand, just as she did to Alexander Salgado and Diaz when they first arrived in Mitchell.
Guevara said, “This is it. This was our last chance. This is all we get. I was just trying to express. I had just been trying to express what had been piling up for the last five years.”
On Nov. 10, 2009, Diaz, who was 15 at the time, and Salgado, lured Jasmine to a remote site near Mitchell. She was stabbed and left for dead in the trunk of a burning car. Before Diaz was sentenced, she told the victim’s family she hopes they will be able to forgive her for her role in Jasmine’s death.
In one of the rare moments that we’ve seen her cry, she said, “I ask you, your honor, please have mercy on me.”
“It’s truly hard to say what Maricela feels or what she thinks. Only she can say those things,” said Guevara.
While the judge recognized that Diaz has now been incarcerated for a fourth of her life and has since gotten her GED, the judge said her crime crossed the bounds of all human decency. For that, she will serve at least 40 years behind bars.
Morales said, “I don’t know if any sentence will be enough, but I don’t know about for everybody, but it’s fair enough.”
The defense said Diaz wanted the chance to raise her young daughter. They asked that she be sentenced to 15 years in prison. The judge says he set the price for taking Jamine’s life very, very high.
Salgado pleaded guilty to 2nd-degree murder in august of 2010, after accepting a plea deal. He is now serving a life sentence.