Barbara Zaragoza 4:30 p.m., May 25
Mark Anthony Diaz, 51, was sentenced to 86 years prison yesterday for shooting a rival boxing trainer in the back two years ago; the shooting occurred April 7, 2010.
Testimony at trial suggested that Diaz became desperate when Hector Gil, 52, was able to persuade Diaz’s promising young fighters to choose him as their trainer instead of Diaz. Gil was killed, and two other men in the Vista boxing gym that night suffered gunshot wounds, but the two survivors testified at a murder trial a year later in downtown San Diego.
The jury declared Diaz guilty on April 27, 2011, but the defendant was able to delay sentencing by filing motions for a new trial.
Prosecutor Patrick Espinoza described the legal maneuvering this way: “’I forgot my alibi because my notes were lost’ is not a very persuasive legal position. The judge made the correct call in denying the defendant’s motion for new trial.”
The basis for the defendant’s request for new trial was his claim that deputies at the jail took away his notes which would have helped him to testify, but the judge ruled, “I do not find deputies took notes that the defendant claims went missing.”
The deputy district attorney said judge Kerry Wells commented that the defendant was suffering from “buyer’s remorse” because he chose not to testify at his trial.