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EDINBURG — After deliberating for more than eight hours, a jury found 38-year-old Lucinda Amalia Diaz not guilty in the death of her 31-year-old husband, Craig Ryan Chastain, on Wednesday.
Diaz was accused of murdering Chastain following an admittedly “stupid argument” she started after he had received a text from a co-worker on Sept. 5, 2020, though she remained adamant that he had killed himself.
Her defense attorney, Juan Tijerina, said during closing arguments that the inconsistencies in Diaz’s narrative came from the law enforcement involved.
“They’re trying to fit a square piece into a circle,” Tijerina said.
He argued that Diaz was emotionless during interviews due to the medication she had been prescribed.
Documents from DHR Health showed that Diaz was euthymic, which is a tranquil mental state often associated with phases of bipolar disorder between manic and depressive episodes.
Tijerina also argued that several experts on the witness stand testified that it’s possible for someone to shoot themselves in the back of the head, though it’s seldom.
The jury began deliberation at 11:50 a.m. and returned the verdict at 8:08 p.m.
When state District Judge Letty Lopez read the not guilty verdict, Diaz could be seen shaking as she began to cry.
Members of the jury were also visibly emotional.
Chastain’s father, Ernest, who was in the audience, could be heard letting out an audible sigh.
Diaz’s family hugged each other following the verdict as the jury left the courtroom.
Ernest Chastain exited the courtroom with his head hung low.
Outside the courtroom waiting for Diaz was her and Chastain’s son.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.