General Crime

* Hector Diaz Convicted Murderer In The 1981 Stabbing Of David Roberts Found Suitable For Parole

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A 48-year-old man convicted of murder in 1985 in San Mateo County Superior Court for helping kill another man to prevent him from testifying in a $3 million computer chip theft case was found suitable for parole Wednesday. Hector Diaz was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree murder on April 8, 1985, Deputy District Attorney Elaine Tipton said.Diaz was convicted along with several others in the Sept. 6, 1981, stabbing and beating death of 28-year-old David Roberts, a witness in the computer chip theft case, which was being tried in Santa Clara County, Tipton said.”The case involved several different people, each pointing the finger at the other one in terms of who actually set it up and who physically inflicted the fatal wounds,” Tipton said.The victim’s body was found near Interstate Highway 280 at Bunker Hill Drive in unincorporated San Mateo County about two weeks after he was killed.Tipton said Diaz participated in the murder at the behest of business partners who were on trial for the computer chip theft.”Mr. Diaz took responsibility for a role in the crime, which was to provide transportation” to the location where the victim was killed, Tipton said. “Mr. Diaz claims he didn’t know the victim was going to be killed.”Prosecutors were never able to prove who delivered the fatal blows but Tipton said Diaz’s involvement was clear.”We definitely had significant evidence that Mr. Diaz was a participant in the crime and received money for his part in the commission of the crime,” she said.Diaz was also found suitable for parole in 2008 but the governor’s office, which must issue the final approval, did not agree to release Diaz at that time, Tipton said.Following the state parole board’s decision Wednesday that Diaz is suitable for parole, the case must still be reviewed by the governor’s office again before Diaz can be released, Tipton said.A spokesman for the governor was not immediately available for comment on the case.

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