Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 42 / 19 October 2017
 

Diaz set to be released again

David Diaz at a January 2015 court appearance. Photo: Rick Gerharter

David Diaz at a January 2015 court appearance. Photo: Rick Gerharter

David Munoz Diaz, the man convicted of accidentally choking to death a sex partner in 2011 and then arrested again last year for allegedly starting fires in the Castro district, is set to be released from jail Monday (September 26) on the most recent charges.

Diaz, who’s 27, was sentenced Monday to serve a year of mandatory supervision. He’ll have to register as an arsonist for life, wear an ankle monitor for at least the first six months of his supervision, and receive counseling.

He’s also been ordered to stay away from 4082 through 4086 18th Street, the building where the Mix bar and his apartment are located. Diaz had been accused of setting fire to the Up Hair hair salon, which is located above the Mix.

Deputy Public Defender Alex Lilien, Diaz’s attorney, said he doesn’t know where exactly Diaz will be living.

Diaz had originally pleaded not guilty to felony counts of arson of an inhabited structure, arson of property, and possession of an incendiary device. He’s been in custody on the charges since January 2015.

During his 2014 trial in the Buena Vista Park case, Diaz testified about how he fatally choked Freddy Canul-Arguello, 23, in June 2011. He said it was an accident that occurred after Canul-Arguello asked to be choked during a sexual encounter.

He also said he set fire to a cup in a recycling bin but said he did it to signal for help. The melted bin was found with Canul-Arguello’s heavily charred body.

Jurors acquitted Diaz of second-degree murder but convicted him of involuntary manslaughter, arson, mutilating human remains, and destroying evidence. He was released in September 2014 after spending more than three years in custody. Superior Court Judge Donald Sullivan dismissed the arson count.

Larry Metzger, who owns the Mix and is Diaz’s longtime partner, was in court Monday but declined to comment.

Asked about community concerns about his client being released from custody again, Lilien said, “This is a negotiated disposition that hopefully addresses David’s needs and the concerns of the community.”

A spokesman for the district attorney’s office wasn’t immediately available for comment.

The Bay Area Reporter will have more on this story in the September 29 edition of the paper.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, September 26, 2016 @ 2:51 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


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