“We are here because this man shot two people in an attempt to kill them both. This was almost a homicide.”
A Baltimore City prosecutor stressed the seriousness of the attempted murder and various weapons charges against 31-year-old Mario Diaz whose trial concluded on April 6. The following day, a jury found the defendant guilty of attempted second-degree murder, reckless endangerment, and multiple counts of first and second-degree assault and weapons charges.
During closing arguments on Thursday, the prosecution told jurors and Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Dana Middleton that the only reason one of the victims was alive was because the victim’s brother pushed the defendant off of him. Diaz was accused of shooting the two victims, ages 25 and 32, on the 1000 block of S. Potomac Street on July 17, 2022.
“This was not a mistake,” the prosecutor said, referring to shooting one of the victims in his side and the other in his back.
Diaz, who the prosecutor said “brought a gun to a fist fight,” drove home after the shooting.
But according to defense attorney Alex Leikus, Diaz was trying to protect a friend. The defense attorney reminded jurors of Diaz’s testimony that he saw a fight happening behind his back, believed his friend was being assaulted, and went to get his gun. Although Diaz was intoxicated, he noted, “what he perceived was not impossible.”
“This was the worst 20 seconds in [the defendant’s] life,” said Leikus, who added that his client voluntarily went to Baltimore Police rather than run or destroy evidence. “This man didn’t intend to kill anyone.”Follow this case