Construction Worker Murders Client With Tools, Burglarizes Her Home
Photo: victim Chyong Jen Tsai
LOS ANGELES – Construction worker Heber Enoc Diaz (dob 9/6/91) of Pasadena was charged with Capital Murder on June 26th, and faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole or death.
“The charges include allegations of causing great bodily injury to a victim over age 70 and using deadly and dangerous weapons – a hammer, a jab saw and a box cutter, according to the complaint,” said the Los Angeles District Attorney.
Diaz killed 76-year-old victim Chyong Jen Tsai in her Arcadia home when he returned to burglarize the location where he’d previously worked.
“Diaz had been employed by a contractor that was doing renovations on the home of the victim but was no longer working there when the April 9 crimes occurred,” said Deputy District Attorney Miriam Avalos of the Elder Abuse Unit. “On that day, Diaz allegedly was burglarizing her garage when he encountered the victim and killed her.”
The prosecutor added, “He also is accused of committing a burglary at the property on March 19th while he was working there.”
Diaz is charged with one count of murder with special circumstance allegations that the crime was committed during a robbery and a burglary, two felony counts of second-degree burglary, one felony count each of first-degree residential burglary, second-degree robbery, and elder abuse, in case BA477170.
A decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made at a later date. Bail was denied for Diaz.
Also charged are Luis Alonso Cruz Gaitan (dob 3/25/86) of Altadena, who faces one felony count each of accessory after the fact, receiving stolen property exceeding $950 in value, and Isis Ondina Villalobos (dob 1/19/93) of Pasadena, who faces one felony count of accessory after the fact.
Both Gaitan and Villalobos each face up to three years in county jail if convicted as charged, with bail set at $1 million each.
The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Homicide Bureau.