A 46-year-old Queens man has been indicted on murder and other charges in the machete killing of his 78-year-old mother, who was found bleeding and wrapped in bedding on the floor of the apartment the two shared last year, prosecutors say.
Maria Diaz's daughter, one of her seven children including the defendant, Osvaldo Diaz, was the one who made the grisly discovery in the second-floor apartment above a beauty salon on Hillside Avenue on Feb. 24, 21, officials have said.
The daughter had gone to the apartment to visit her mother that day. They had planned to run some errands and take a walk. But when she arrived and called her mother on her cell, Maria Diaz didn't answer. She tried multiple times to reach her.
Eventually, Osvaldo Diaz picked up his mother's phone and allegedly told his sister to go to the store. Osvaldo Diaz was seen on surveillance video leaving the apartment once she left, prosecutors say. When she returned, no one answered her calls. She summoned the property owner, who let her into the apartment.
That's where she found her mother's body. Maria Diaz was pronounced dead at the scene.
Osvaldo Diaz was allegedly on the run for just over a week before he was apprehended in New Jersey. He was extradited to Queens Wednesday for arraignment on charges of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon and pleaded not guilty, his attorney, Jose Nieves said Thursday.
After speaking with his client, Nieves says he immediately requested a psychiatric evaluation for Osvaldo Diaz. The defense attorney said he has serious concerns as to whether the 46-year-old is competent to participate in the criminal proceedings.
Osvaldo Diaz is due back in court next month. Authorities have not shared any potential motive for the killing. A large knife was recovered at the scene.
If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
"The defendant allegedly attacked his mother with a machete – to the point of near-decapitation," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. "This outburst of violence has devastated the victim’s family, which includes her other six children."