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Posted on: March 28, 2021, 03:15h.
Final up to date on: March 28, 2021, 07:56h.
Ed Silverstein Learn Extra
The deadly strangulation of a Cedar Ridge, Montana on line casino worker virtually two years in the past has resulted in a responsible verdict.
Lori Bray, left, Diego Hernandez proven right here. Final week, a Montana jury discovered Hernandez responsible in Bray’s demise. She labored at a on line casino. (Picture: MTN Information)
Final week, Diego Hernandez, 24, of Laurel, Mont., was discovered responsible of deliberate murder within the October 2019 homicide of Lori Bray, 57. A Yellowstone County jury deliberated for about two hours earlier than making its determination.
Through the trial, it was revealed Hernandez obtained a experience from Bray after her late-night shift ended on the comparatively small Laurel on line casino.
Earlier than giving him the experience, Bray closed the gaming venue. Hernandez exited and waited for her outdoors for about 26 minutes.
He was the one different individual on the gaming property at the moment, in response to the Billings Gazette, a neighborhood newspaper.
In her closing argument to the jury, Senior Deputy Yellowstone County Lawyer Ingrid Rosenquist, who prosecuted the case, famous how Hernandez modified his variations of occasions.
“It bobs and weaves as he’s confronted with extra information within the investigation,” she was quoted by the Gazette.
Throughout his first two interviews with the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Workplace, he stated he didn’t know Bray properly, however obtained a experience dwelling from her that night time, the Gazette stated.
However within the third interview, Hernandez claimed he and Bray have been in a relationship for a yr and a half. The couple had intercourse on the night time she gave him a experience dwelling, Hernandez instructed authorities, the Gazette stated.
He and Bray went to a shack close to his dwelling the place they engaged in intercourse, Hernandez had instructed police. Hernandez additional claimed that afterward Bray was alive and drove away.
However earlier than his interplay with Bray that night time, Hernandez made different makes an attempt at getting rides with ladies. The day earlier than Bray went lacking, Hernandez went to the Planet Lockwood strip membership in Billings.
He tried to get a girl there to go away with him. However a 3rd individual, who was driving Hernandez that night time, stated he wouldn’t drive her, too.
The dispute led to the driving force and Hernandez getting right into a struggle, the report stated.
On the next night time, Hernandez went first to The Locomotive, one other native on line casino.
Whereas there, he requested a feminine bartender twice to present him a experience dwelling, the report stated. She refused. He then went to Cedar Ridge.
Footprints, DNA Used to Convict Hernandez
Bodily proof performed a key function within the homicide trial. Dr. Robert Kurtzman, Montana’s medical expert, dominated Bray died from guide strangulation. Blunt drive accidents have been additionally seen on her face. She additionally suffered a number of damaged ribs.
Additionally, prosecutors revealed DNA found beneath Bray’s fingernails matched that of Hernandez. He had suffered scratches that weren’t current earlier than getting the experience from Bray, prosecutors add.
After her disappearance, Bray’s automotive was discovered north of Laurel. Inside was a handbag and cellular phone. Some garments have been outdoors the automotive.
Money within the pockets was lacking. A seat was bloodstained. Mud was additionally within the automotive.
Her bare corpse was found in a ravine some three miles from the automotive, the AP reported.
Sneakers later seized from Hernandez’s dwelling had the identical tread sample on the soles that have been discovered on the bottom the place Bray’s physique was found, the AP stated. It additionally matched footprints within the automotive, the report provides.
Claimed Affair With Hernandez Saved Secret
In his closing argument, protection lawyer Joel Thompson argued Bray was utilizing methadone and people near her have been unaware of it.
“She was engaged in one thing that nobody in her life knew about,” Thompson was quoted by the Gazette. “Is it so unreasonable to assume she might have engaged in a bootleg affair with a younger man, and no one knew that secret both?”
Through the trial, protection attorneys didn’t current any witnesses, the report provides. Hernandez had entered a “not responsible” plea in courtroom earlier than the trial started.
When sentenced, Hernandez might face spending life in jail.
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