New York police officer indicted in machete death of his mother

A former New York police officer has been indicted in the death of his mother, who was found nearly decapitated in her home in Queens last year.

The man, Osvaldo Diaz, 46, “allegedly stabbed and slashed” his mother, Maria Diaz, 78, to death with a machete on Feb. 24, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said Thursday in a news release.

“The defendant allegedly attacked his mother with a machete — to the point of near-decapitation,” Katz said in the release. “This outburst of violence has devastated the victim’s family, which includes her other six children.”

Diaz was employed by the New York Police Department from 2005 to 2008, when he was fired, the police department said.

Diaz and his mother lived together in an apartment above a beauty salon, according to the release.

The day of the killing, Diaz’s sister went to their home for a visit, as she and her mom had planned to run some errands and take a walk. 

When she arrived and called her mother on the phone, no one answered.

“Eventually, the defendant picked up and allegedly told his sister to go to the store,” the release said. 

When the sister left the building, the defendant was recorded on security video leaving the apartment, authorities said.

The sister returned later and eventually summoned the property owner, who let her into the apartment. That’s where she found her mother’s body “bleeding and wrapped in bedding,” according to the release. Her mother was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Police haven’t discussed a motive.

The DA’s office said Diaz was on the run for just over a week before he was captured in New Jersey and extradited to Queens on Wednesday to face charges. He was charged with second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, according to the news release.

His attorney, Jose Nieves, said Diaz pleaded not guilty Thursday.

“I requested the court order a psychiatric evaluation immediately because I have serious concerns about Mr. Diaz’s competency to participate in this criminal proceeding,” Nieves said.

Diaz’s next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 17. If he is convicted, he faces 25 years to life in prison.

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