Diaz Attempted Murder Trial Postponed


Manuel Diaz, charged with the attempted murder of his ex-wife in April, will undergo a hearing to see if he is competent to stand trial, Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores said.

"It's called a rule 11-- where the defense attorney or the state asks that the person be examined for competence," Flores said. "Competence means they are able to assist their attorney in trial."


Manuel Diaz

Diaz's ex-wife, Francisca Alatriz, 46, of Star Valley, was in her car at the intersection of Moonlight Drive and Highway 260, when she was shot in the chest.

"Diaz fired six rounds at her," Gila County Sheriff's Det. Brian Havey said.

Alatriz was hit twice, Havey said. One bullet entered and exited her body, resulting in a superficial injury. The second bullet was left in Alatriz' body because removal would cause nerve damage, Havey said.

"We've had an ongoing problem with violations of the court order of protection," Havey told the Roundup in April. "He has been arrested twice before for violating, and this time it boiled over big time."

Alatriz was able to drive herself to the Circle K in Star Valley where she got the attention of a man who called 911.

She was able to identify Diaz as the shooter and told officers that she had an order of protection on him since their divorce two years prior.

Deputy County Attorney Patti Wortman said that Diaz's attorney filed a motion with the court Aug. 25 to have his client evaluated for mental competence.

"(Diaz's attorney) listed a number of reasons," Wortman said.

Among the reasons, according to the document, are that Diaz is despondent, suffering from severe depression and unable to focus on the details of his case.

"They are concerned that he is suffering from mental illness that is inhibiting his ability to assist counsel in his defense," Wortman said.

Diaz is charged with first-degree attempted murder and two counts of aggravated assault. Bail was set at $1 million and Diaz remains in custody in the Gila County jail.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.