AUSTIN — On Thursday, a Travis County jury found David Diaz guilty in the murder of Robert Morales, a case stretching back to 2014. The jury later sentenced Diaz to life in prison for the crime.
On January 19, 2014, the body of Morales was found on a dirt road with obvious signs of trauma, and it was revealed that he had been stabbed multiple times. The investigation behind the murder, led to the arrest of Diaz and two others who were present at the time of the murder.
Charges against all three men were dismissed before being presented to the grand jury pending further investigation, according to Travis County District Attorney Margaret Moore.
In 2017, the case regarding the murder of Morales was reopened by Austin Police Department's Cold Case Unit and after multiple interviews, cell phone mapping, and DNA testing, a grand jury indicted David Diaz for the murder of Morales.
In the trial, it was found there had been a conflict between Diaz and Morales, regarding Morales possibly joining the Texas Syndicate gang. During an argument between the two, Diaz allegedly stabbed Morales multiple times and left the scene with two individuals. DNA evidence later showed Morales' blood in close proximity to where Diaz sat in one of the individuals cars.
Austin Police Department analyzed cell phone records, showing the route taken by Diaz, and placed him at the scene of the murder.
The medical examiner in the case testified that Morales had thirty stab wounds.
"This ha been a long road for the family of Robert Morales, but we are thankful the jury listened carefully to all of the evidence, followed the law and rendered a just verdict in the case," stated Amy Meredith, lead prosecutor on the case. "We believe justice has been served and hopefully Robert Morales's family can at least have closure knowing that the person responsible for Robert's death has been held accountable."