A mistrial was declared in May at the murder trial of Oscar Robles Diaz, a 26-year-old Santa Ana man accused of stabbing his former roommate to death after a night of drinking, singing and chatting up friends.
Today, prosecutors are scheduled to get another crack at Diaz, who is charged with one felony count of murder, with a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.
Diaz faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison with a conviction.
The mistrial was declared May 18 because the jury could not decide whether Diaz deserved a guilty verdict for first or second-degree murder. That was 10 days shy of the second anniversary of 47-year-old Leon Abarca Torres being stabbed 20 times outside the Santa Ana residence he had until a week earlier shared with Diaz and others.
Witnesses had Diaz fleeing the scene, and he was arrested hours later by Santa Ana police officers. According to the Orange County District Attorney's office, Diaz was wearing clothing with dried blood on it at the time of his arrest, and DNA evidence linked samples to blood found at the scene.
OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.