Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today announced that Juan Diaz, age 29, of Providence was sentenced by Superior Court Justice Netti C. Vogel to 60 years, with 40 to serve, for the 2008 murder of his ex-girlfriend Mayra Cruz. The plea agreement was reached with the approval of the victim's family.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on June 25, 2008, Juan Diaz shot and killed his ex-girlfriend Mayra Cruz (age 26) and then fled the scene.
This defendant was originally tried and found guilty by a jury in March, 2010. On appeal, the Rhode Island Supreme Court had concerns with the jury instructions given by the Court during the first trial and remanded the case back to the Superior Court. Diaz was tried again in 2013, and again found guilty by a jury, yet the verdict was vacated by the Judge when it was determined that some of the jurors had access to information regarding the previous trial and verdict.
"Despite the long travel of this case, it should never be forgotten that Mayra Cruz, a young mother who desperately tried to get away from her abuser, was forever taken from her family by the act of a violent ex-boyfriend," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "It is my sincerest hope that today's sentencing brings some peace to Mayra's family, knowing her killer will serve a very long time in prison for his violent and cowardly actions."
Pawtucket Police Detective Charles Devine led the investigation and Assistant Attorney General Maureen Keough prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of Attorney General.