Case against Elsa woman accused of murdering husband close to deliberations

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Lucinda Amalia Diaz, 38, uses a fan during the start of her trial for the death of her husband, Craig Chastain, 31, on Monday June 5, 2023, in Edinburg. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])

EDINBURG — State prosecutors and defense attorneys rested their cases Tuesday afternoon in the murder trial for 38-year-old Lucinda Diaz who is accused of shooting and killing her husband, 31-year-old Craig Chastain.

Diaz has adamantly claimed that Chastain shot himself on Sept. 6, 2020, following an argument that Diaz voluntarily admitted to police she started over a Facebook message a co-worker of Chastain’s sent while they watched a movie.

On Tuesday, the jury heard the continued testimony of lead investigator Jonathan Rivas from the Edinburg Police Department regarding two interviews he had with Diaz that were recorded on video, as well as other pieces of evidence.

At one point during the second interview, Diaz told Rivas that Chastain was able to shoot with both hands but when asked, Diaz admitted she had never seen him shoot or been to the gun range with her husband.

Diaz stated she didn’t like guns.

She then told the investigators of an incident prior to the alleged suicide that Chastain had held the gun up to his head during an argument before turning it on Diaz and placing it to her temple.

When asked why she didn’t tell anyone, Diaz said she wasn’t afraid because Chastain was her husband.

Rivas stated that Diaz was voluntarily telling him about Chastain’s past, his behavioral issues and instances he was ashamed of, such as allegedly being sexually assaulted in the 7th grade, despite them only knowing each other for roughly nine months.

Diaz argued that these were things kept between husband and wife. She said he was ashamed to tell his family about it.

Rivas countered her by stating that every other person he’s interviewed regarding Chastain never mentioned anything she was saying.

“I don’t believe you,” Diaz said in the second interview.

As the investigators continued to question and press Diaz, she was noticeably upset and at times would yell at them.

“Oh, this is b— s—, I’m leaving,” Diaz said in the video, though she didn’t leave right away.

In the trial, Rivas noted that Diaz began to fidget more during questioning and her demeanor changed as if she was looking for the right answer.

When asked if she had wiped her hands prior to calling 911, Diaz repeated that she didn’t know and eventually said she might have.

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])

Her defense attorney, Juan Tijerina, argued that Rivas isn’t an expert psychologist or psychiatrist and wouldn’t know whether Diaz was lying during questioning.

Tijerina also argued that pressing the barrel of a gun against an object would muffle the sound to which Rivas contested that argument. The defense stated that it’s the speed of the bullet that makes the sound when a gun goes off.

Rivas cited his training and experience as his tools to determine that Diaz had probably shot Chastain.

Following the state resting, the defense brought in two witnesses, one of which wasn’t allowed to testify.

Dr. Juan Flores, the man who prescribed Chastain his depression and anxiety medication, was dismissed because Tijerina hadn’t gone through the proper procedures 30 days prior to the trial to have him take the stand.

The final witness was Diaz’s mother, Enedina Rodriguez.

She was asked about a point of contention during the first interview in which she was sitting next to Diaz for her comfort, according to Rivas.

At a certain point when Rivas was outside of the room, Rodriguez and Diaz whispered to each other.

Rodriguez asked Diaz if she was nervous, but Diaz stated no and said, “It’s just procedure,” followed by something Rivas and Tijerina had trouble agreeing to.

Tijerina stated that she said, “They know I didn’t do it,” but Rivas argued the opposite.

Rodriguez clarified that her daughter said she “didn’t do it.”

Following the second interview with Diaz, Rivas said he determined that he had enough evidence to prove Diaz had shot and killed Chastain and arrested her on Sept. 16, 2020, in Elsa.

The trial is scheduled to continue Wednesday morning.

Staff writer Francisco Jimenez contributed to this report


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