He Slaughtered 6 Relatives, Including His 2 Young Cousins

Diego Uribe Cruz sentenced to life over 2016 murders
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 6, 2022 12:25 AM CDT
Updated Nov 8, 2022 2:29 AM CST
He Demanded Money, Then Brutally Killed 6 of His Relatives
Diego Uribe Cruz   (Cook County Sheriff's Office)
UPDATE Nov 8, 2022 2:29 AM CST

A judge on Monday sentenced a man to life in prison for killing six members of his family, including two young boys, inside their Chicago home in 2016, the AP reports. A jury last month found Diego Uribe Cruz guilty of six counts of first-degree murder in the slayings in the victims' bungalow in the Gage Park neighborhood on the city’s Southwest Side. Uribe Cruz declined to give a statement before he was sentenced. His attorneys said in court that they intend to appeal. They said during his trial he could not have killed all six people by himself. They suggested he was present when the family was killed in a robbery by four masked men.

Oct 6, 2022 12:25 AM CDT

A jury on Wednesday found a man guilty of first-degree murder in the 2016 slayings of six members of his family—including two young boys—inside their Chicago home in 2016. The jury deliberated for about a day before finding 28-year-old Diego Uribe Cruz guilty of all six counts of first-degree murder of four adults and two children inside their bungalow in the Gage Park neighborhood on the city's Southwest Side, the AP reports. With the conviction, Uribe Cruz faces a sentence of life in prison without parole, the Cook County State's Attorney's office said. During the trial, prosecutors alleged that Uribe Cruz shot his aunt, 32-year-Maria Martinez, after he tried to rob her before he fatally stabbed her sons, ages 10 and 13.

He then stabbed or beat to death other relatives to make sure there were no witnesses—the last of which was her father, whom he stabbed after he returned from a store with snacks. "These were women, children, brothers, sisters, grandparents, cousins. They were a family,” Jason Fisher, an assistant state’s attorney, told the jury, according to the Chicago Tribune. Evidence against him included DNA recovered from under Maria Martinez’s fingernails and a small amount of blood that matched that of Uribe Cruz. Prosecutors also showed the jury a video in which Uribe Cruz confessed to some of the details to Chicago police detectives.

Also, Uribe Cruz's former girlfriend, Jafeth Ramos, testified against him. Ramos, who was originally charged with murder as well as Cruz, testified as part of a plea deal that called for her to plead guilty to armed robbery and agree to cooperate with authorities. According to the Tribune, she is expected to be sentenced to 25 years in prison. She testified that when Uribe Cruz came to the house he asked to talk to Maria Martinez upstairs. There he held her at gunpoint and shot her when she did not give him money. She testified that Martinez's brother was beaten with a gun; Martinez's mother was pushed down the stairs and stabbed; and the boys were forced to search the house for things of value before being stabbed to death.

(Read more Chicago stories.)

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