Tuesday, December 5, 2006
The only witness testifying for the state which claimed Mr. Diaz was the shooter was a jailhouse snitch named Ralph Gajus. Mr. Gajus testified that he was in the Dade County Jail at the same time as Mr. Diaz and their cells were located across from each other. During his testimony, Mr. Gajus indicated that Mr. Diaz was able to speak English and that Mr. Gajus "understand(s) very well." (R. 1115). Mr. Gajus went so far as to say that Mr. Diaz spoke English almost as well as himself and the prosecutor (Id.).
As Gajus testified:
I don’t recall the name of the bar, but [Mr. Diaz] was at a bar in the Southwest section, and I believe it was three of them, and he was sitting, he indicated, like in front of a stage at the bar, and
3 I, Ralph Gajus, being first duly sworn, depose and say that:
1. In 1984 I was inmate in the Dade County Jail awaiting trial on a first degree murder charge. I was in the jail with Angel Diaz for 6 months. We were on the 6th floor on a wing with 6 cells. Angel Diaz was in the cell directly across from me and we would speak to each other across the hall from each other.
they were committing a robbery, and that while committing the robbery, he, someone came from the back of the bar, and it was either he or him that would die so he went (indicating), and the guy - - he indicated that he shot the man.
(R. 1123). Mr. Gajus further indicated what Mr. Diaz told him:
He said there was a robbery going on before the man came out. They were robbing the people before he came out. He indicated moving by the cash register. Then a man came out from behind, and he had a firearm, and, then that’s what -- he indicated that he had to shoot or the other guy would shoot.
(R. 1124). Mr. Gajus’ testimony left the jury to believe that Mr. Diaz had confessed to being the triggerman. In it’s sentencing order the circuit court pointed out that the evidence was conflicting as to who was the actual triggerman, but confirmed that there was evidence from Ralph Gajus, "that the defendant was, in fact, the shooter." (R. 325).