Maricela Diaz Convicted by Jury for First Degree Murder
PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley and Hanson County States Attorney Jim Davies announced today that a Minnehaha County jury returned a verdict finding Maricela N. Diaz, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, guilty of first degree murder, class A felony, maximum sentence up to life in prison; felony murder arson, class A felony, maximum sentence up to life in prison, first degree arson, class 2 felony, with maximum penalty of up to 25 years in prison; felony murder kidnapping, class A felony, maximum sentence up to life in prison and second-degree aggravated kidnapping class 1 felony, with a maximum penalty of up to 50 years in prison.
“This jury verdict is the result of a very dedicated and hardworking investigation and prosecution team. Diaz and Salgado have been found guilty of the cold blooded murder of a 16 year-old innocent little girl. I struggle to believe that the family of Jasmine Guevara will ever find closure, but I hope that this conviction will allow them to begin to heal,” said Jackley. “As Attorney General, I will be reviewing Mr. Salgado’s testimony and case to determine whether he is in violation of his plea agreement and if so the appropriate remedy.”
Charges stem that on November 10, 2009, Maricela N. Diaz and Alexander Salgado murdered Jasmine Guevara. Diaz and then-boyfriend Salgado were both arrested in November of 2009 for luring Guevara to a remote location in rural Hanson County, where they stabbed her, cut her throat and then set her car on fired while she was in the trunk. Salgado plead guilty to second-degree murder in August of 2010 for his involvement in Guevara’s death. He is currently serving a life sentence at the State Penitentiary.
This case was investigated by the Hanson County’s Sheriff’s Office, Mitchell Police Department and the Division of Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by the Hanson County States Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office.