Edinburg woman’s story over husband’s fatal shooting full of inconsistencies, investigator testifies

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Lucinda Amalia Diaz, 38, looks toward the back of the courtroom as her trial of her husband’s killing starts on Monday June 5, 2023, in Edinburg. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

EDINBURG — The father of the man whose wife claims he shot and killed himself testified on Monday that she told him the day after he allegedly committed suicide that she didn’t care to help with his funeral arrangements.

Ernest Chastain was called as a witness in the trial against 38-year-old Lucinda Amalia Diaz who is accused of murdering her husband, 31-year-old Craig Chastain.

Ernest spoke kindly of his late son Craig, stating that he loved the outdoors and enjoyed outdoor activities, though he admits Craig had some anger issues in his early college years, but had sought help.

“His first love was probably animals,” Ernest said, alluding to Craig’s work at the Palm Valley Animal Shelter.

Ernest mentioned that Craig had been previously married before meeting Diaz and would sometimes experience a slump, but training his older brother’s dog would cheer him up.

According to his dad, Craig was happy with Diaz and despite moving in, marrying and conceiving a child together in a matter of months, Ernest was happy for his son.

“I saw that he was happy and left it at that,” he said. “I think he loved her tremendously.”

The night of his the alleged suicide, Ernest’s wife, who was in Port Isabel, called him to notify him that Diaz called her to say that Craig had shot himself.

Once Ernest arrived at the apartment complex, he testified that Diaz was in distress and repeated herself saying that it was her fault, it was an accident and asked for forgiveness.

Ernest stated that he found it strange that she was soaked in sweat.

“The sweating caught my eye,” Ernest told a defense attorney when asked about the night of the incident.

The attorney asked Ernest if he knew if his son was depressed and was taking medication for the diagnosis as well as anxiety to which he said no, he wasn’t aware.

Ernest had previously described his relationship with Craig as “extremely close,” but added that some things his sons would keep to themselves.

Ernest testified that the following day after Craig died, Diaz and her mother arrived at his home in Edinburg for a small conversation.

It was then that Diaz told Ernest that she wasn’t interested in helping with the funeral costs and said she didn’t want to keep Craig’s child.

Ernest testified that he felt she was distraught at that moment.

He also testified that he didn’t know she had the child until later but was told not to contact Diaz following her release from jail.

Lucinda Amalia Diaz, 38, looks toward the back of the courtroom as her trial of her husband’s killing starts on Monday June 5, 2023, in Edinburg. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

Following Ernest on the witness stand was lead investigator Jonathan Rivas who echoed previous statements from fellow Edinburg police officers regarding the incident.

“It was a little bit suspicious,” Rivas said, regarding Craig’s body and hand placement, the placement of the gun, the placement of the casing from the shot fired and the coagulated blood.

Rivas testified that the situation went against all his experience and training, adding that the gun’s muzzle was pointing the opposite direction of Craig’s body and was several feet away.

During his testimony, state prosecutors showed two interviews Rivas conducted with Diaz.

In the first interview, Diaz gave Rivas contradicting statements and stated she started an argument with Craig after he received a reply from a female co-worker of his which spiraled to Craig shooting himself.

“It was just a little jealousy,” Diaz admitted during the interview. “I got a little upset.”

Diaz claims that Craig lost his temper and after some time told her that this was her fault just before shooting himself.

She added that he had left his pistol at his dad’s house because, according to Diaz, he couldn’t trust himself not to shoot himself with it. She also told Rivas that he would point it at his head during arguments and that he’s pointed it at her head once, but asked Rivas not to tell her mom about it.

In the second interview, Diaz told Rivas that she had been recently admitted to Doctors Hospital at Renaissance but that she was doing better.

The interview consisted of Diaz telling stories about Craig having issues throughout his life, such as his parent’s supposed unstable marriage, his biological mother mentally and verbally abusing him and Craig allegedly being sexually assaulted in middle school.

Diaz said that Craig didn’t know who to trust but told him to confide in her.

At the time, Rivas believed Diaz was trying to distance herself from Craig’s death and painting him as a sad, depressed person.

“Just a lot of inconsistencies,” Rivas said.

The trial continues Tuesday.


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