Edgar Diaz, 18, of Manchester, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in Superior Court in Toms River on Jan. 17 in exchange for a 20-year prison term at a scheduled March 6 sentencing.
He'll have to serve 17 years of that sentence before he'll be eligible for parole under New Jersey's No Early Release Act.
Diaz stabbed Margarita Diaz with a knife and slammed her head into the pavement outside their parked vehicle in a medical office park last Aug. 7, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said.
“All of this was done in the presence of the defendant’s younger brother," Billhimer said.
Margarita Diaz, 44, was pronounced dead at Community Medical Center, just down the street from the scene.
An investigation by Billhimer’s Major Crime Unit and Toms River township police pegged her son as the killer less than a week later, the prosecutor said.
Diaz, who was 17 when the crime occurred, voluntarily waived jurisdiction over his case from the Family Part of Superior Court to the Criminal Division, the prosecutor said.
He remains held in the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center pending assignment to a state prison after his sentencing.
“This was a horrific, bone-chilling event that rocked our community and destroyed a family,” Billhimer said.
“I cannot comprehend as to why this young man would senselessly take the life of his own mother," the prosecutor said, "but justice for Margarita will be served."
Billhimer cited the “fine work” of Chief Juvenile Prosecutor Anthony Pierro, who’s been handling the prosecution, as well as the “diligent and cooperative efforts” of his Major Crime Unit, Toms River police and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit, which collected evidence.Together, he said, they "solved this horrendous crime in less than one week and swiftly removed this dangerous young man from our community."
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