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Guilty Plea in '08 Shooting Death Avoids 3rd Trial

 
Guilty Plea in '08 Shooting Death Avoids 3rd Trial

NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Pawtucket man has pleaded guilty to murder, avoiding a third trial in the shooting death of his 26-year-old ex-girlfriend in 2008.

Juan L. Diaz pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder in the death of Mayra Cruz.

Juries have twice convicted Diaz. He was found guilty in 2010, but the state Supreme Court vacated the conviction, saying the Superior Court judge's instructions could have misled jurors.

In a second trial last summer the 30-year-old Diaz testified he accidentally shot Cruz in the face during a struggle for a gun. He was found guilty of second-degree murder.

A new trial was ordered after at least one juror was found to have access to information from the internet about the case.

Diaz is due to be sentenced Tuesday in Superior Court.

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