The defense attorney representing a 35-year-old woman accused of murdering her husband says she’s sticking by her story to Edinburg police that the man shot and killed himself.
Attorney Juan A. Tijerina made the comments during a videoconferencing hearing where he sought a reduction in Lucinda Amalia Diaz’s bond on a charge of murder from $500,000 to $50,000.
“My client does profess her innocence in this matter,” Tijerina said. “My client is saying it was self-inflicted and she had nothing to do with this.”
A ruling on the bond reduction, however, is currently on hold after 464th state District Judge Ysmael D. Fonseca disclosed to Tijerina and Assistant District Attorney Michael Walker that he had signed several warrants in the case and is privy to facts not proffered by either side.
Though Fonseca said he could be fair, Tijerina asked that the hearing be transferred to another court, which Fonseca granted.
Edinburg police arrested Diaz on Sept. 17 and charged her with murder for the Sept. 5 death of her husband, 31-year-old Craig Chastain, which Diaz reported as a suicide.
A probable cause affidavit alleges, however, that inconsistencies in Diaz’s story and an autopsy, which showed Chastain sustained a gunshot to the lower area of the back of his head, led detectives to believe that she shot and killed Chastain.
A forensic pathologist ruled the wound was suspicious of homicide as it was inconsistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Investigators say they found a bag packed with clothes near Chastain’s body and believe she shot him because he was going to leave her and their relationship while she was four months pregnant with the child.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Diaz told detectives that she and Chastain had a “stupid argument” before he began to pack his belongings, telling her he was leaving her.
Diaz said Chastain had torn off the head of a gifted teddy bear she had given him so she threw her wedding ring at him, told him it was over and said she was leaving him, according to investigators.
“Lucinda stated she then walked back into the bedroom, closed the door but not all of the way and then heard a loud pop. Lucinda provided that she believed Craig had punched the wall or broken something until she walked out and discovered him lying on the living room floor with blood around his head,” the probable cause affidavits.
The incident occurred at their apartment in Edinburg located at 5228 S. Sugar Road.
During the hearing on Wednesday, Tijerina, Diaz’s attorney, told Fonseca that his client was born and raised in Hidalgo County and is employed with the Weslaco school district, where she had worked for nine years.
Tijerina said she has no criminal history and is having health issues with her pregnancy and is mourning the loss of her husband.
He said she is receiving treatment for the pregnancy, but also said she is in need of emotional and psychological help.
The defense attorney said Diaz’s family cannot afford the $500,000 bond.
Due to the nature of the allegations and the ongoing investigation, Walker, the prosecutor, told Fonseca the district attorney’s office is opposed to a reduction in her bond.
Social media accounts belonging to Chastain and Diaz indicate they were married on April 30.