|05-09-2016, 07:51 PM||#1|
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Charges filed in brutal 2011 hammer death of Utah woman
A Utah man accused of murdering a 69-year-old woman in her home in 2011 was charged Monday in the brutal slaying.
Rogelio Diaz Jr., a 23-year-old from West Valley City, was charged Monday in 3rd District Court with first-degree felony murder in Evelynne Derricott's death. He was also charged with first-degree felony aggravated burglary and second-degree felony theft.
Police believe Diaz — who was arrested Friday — used a hammer to kill the woman, a widow who lived by herself, while he was burglarizing her home.
Derricott's body was found in her home, at 410 W. Havasu Street in Tooele, by a friend on Oct. 7, 2011.
Diaz, who could face a maximum penalty of up to life in prison if convicted, is expected to make his first court appearance on Wednesday, according to court records.
Diaz was solidly linked to the slaying by DNA collected several weeks ago, according to police.
Investigators were apparently watching Diaz on April 22 when they saw him consume a Rockstar Energy drink and discard the can, as well as a pair of work gloves. Police collected the can and gloves and sent it to the state crime lab. The lab matched that DNA to DNA previously collected from the hammer and the steering wheel of the victim's car, which was found abandoned a week after the murder.
Police had Diaz on their radar due to an earlier match between DNA on the hammer and steering wheel and that of a close relative to Diaz, whose DNA profile was in Utah's DNA database. aaPolice did not elaborate on who that relative was.
Police then used information gathered by investigators to pinpoint Diaz as their suspect.
Tooele police Chief Ron Kirby said Friday it was the first time in Utah that so-called "familial DNA" had been used to make an arrest.
Utah court records show that Diaz's was convicted of misdemeanors in 2011 and 2012 for theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, alcohol consumption and failing to respond to a police officer's command.
Charges filed in brutal 2011 hammer death of Utah woman | The Salt Lake Tribune
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