Further developments in the Hector Gil tragedy

Happier times: March 24, 2010, the week before their fight in Las Vegas versus Erislandy Lara, Danny Perez's boxing coach, Hector Gil (right) posed for a photo with Perez’s manager, Derek Pierce (left) and boxer Danny Perez at the Boxing Club in La Jolla. Photo: J. Wyatt

On Monday, April 12, 2010, the Vista district attorney’s office charged Mark Anthony Diaz with criminal threats, stating that more investigation was needed in order to charge the boxing trainer with murder. The local community was not only alarmed but outraged when hearing the news. Three days later, the accused killer was arraigned and formerly charged with the murder of his fellow coach, Hector Gil, and trying to kill 21 year-old Ricardo Gutierrez and injuring Peter Moreno at the Pacific Coast Boxing Gym, on Wednesday evening April 7, 2010.

At the Thursday’s arraignment at the Vista courthouse, Diaz pleaded not guilty to all charges.

According to reports, Diaz could receive a sentence of 84 years to life in prison if convicted on all charges. The accused has now been held at the Vista jail since his arrest at his Carlsbad home on Thursday, April 8, 2010, the day after the shooting. Also, Diaz’s bail was increased to $10 million after the following evidence was released:

1) Less than a week before the shooting, Gil received a message on his answering machine from a voice that sounded like Diaz’s, threatening to “bust a cap into” Gil.

2) Associates stated Diaz was noticeably offended when many of his promising boxers left him and started training with Gil, including Ricky Gutierrez, 21, who fought his first pro fight Thursday, February 25, 2010 at the Four Points by Sheraton here in San Diego. Soon after Diaz filed a claim in court against Gutierrez alleging breach of contract.

3) Diaz had been barred from the Pacific Coast Boxing gym after its owner, Ari Soltani, changed the locks and filed a restraining order against him, alleging Diaz had threatened him and others. In Diaz’s mind, it was his gym and sole means of support. Instead of charging the nominal fee ($40 a month) to target the low-income youth, he began to charge additional fees.

4) Witnesses described the clothes the shooter was wearing the night of the murder and the truck that the murderer left in. Their description matches Diaz’s build and the vehicle he owns. Similar clothing and the vehicle were seized at Diaz’s home the following day.

5) An acquaintance of Mark Diaz told investigators that Diaz had kept a handgun.

Over the past seven days, friends and family have been asking anyone and everyone for their thoughts on this terrible tragedy. Unlike most senseless murders Hector Gil’s family y su amigos, have vowed this crime will not go unavenged. That’s what happens when you are so loved.

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