Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer announced that Edgar Diaz, 18, of Manchester, has pled guilty to Aggravated Manslaughter with regard to the killing of his mother, Margarita Diaz, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:11-4a(1).  The guilty plea was entered before the Honorable Wendel E. Daniels, P.J.Cr.P., on Friday, January 17, 2020.  Diaz’ guilty plea to Aggravated Manslaughter was contemplated in connection with his voluntary waiver of the Family Court’s jurisdiction earlier this week, and his further agreement to be charged and prosecuted as an adult in Criminal Court.  Diaz was 17 years of age when the crime occurred.  At the time of his sentencing on _____________________, the State will recommend that Diaz be sentenced to a term of 20 years New Jersey State Prison subject to the terms of the No Early Release Act, N.J.S.A. 2C:43-7.2.

On Wednesday, August 7, 2019, at approximately 8:42 p.m., Toms River Police were dispatched to Deer Chase Professional Park for reports of an assault.  The Officers arrived and found an unresponsive female.  Despite lifesaving efforts by first responders, the victim was pronounced dead at Community Medical Center.  Subsequent investigation by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit revealed that Edgar Diaz attacked his mother following an argument, stabbed her with a knife, and slammed her head into the pavement outside their parked vehicle at the Deer Chase Professional Park.  He has been lodged in the Ocean County Juvenile Detention Center since his apprehension on August 13, 2019.

“This was a horrific, bone-chilling event that rocked our community and destroyed a family,” noted Prosecutor Billhimer.  “I cannot comprehend as to why this young man would senselessly take the life of his own mother, but justice for Margarita will be served,” the Prosecutor continued.  “I want to acknowledge the fine work of Chief Juvenile Prosecutor Anthony Pierro and Assistant Prosecutor Madeline Buczynski, who skillfully prosecuted the case on behalf of the State.  And I applaud the diligent efforts of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit for their collective assistance in solving this horrendous crime in less than one week, and swiftly removing this dangerous and disturbed individual from the streets of Ocean County,” Prosecutor Billhimer concluded.