Union County man gets 10.5-year sentence for attempted murder

By on Monday, February 19th, 2024 in More Top Stories Northeastern Oregon Top Stories

LA GRANDE – (Release by the Union County District Attorney’s Office)

On February 12, 2024, Jose J. Diaz was sentenced to over ten years in the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections by Union County Circuit Court Presiding Judge Thomas Powers.

Diaz was arrested for Driving Under the Influence on February 4, 2021 and lodged at the Union County Correctional facility. The court released Diaz over the DA’s Office objection. That same day, a homeowner called 911 to report that a man was banging a hatchet on the outside of the residence and threatening to kill the homeowner. The man was later identified as Diaz. Diaz then broke into the detached garage and the homeowner’s husband confronted Diaz with a rifle. Diaz was able to wrestle the rifle away from the husband and proceeded to beat him with the barrel. Diaz struck the husband with such force it actually broke the rifle. The homeowner’s adult son then confronted Diaz, with Diaz striking him on the arm as well. The son was able to overpower Diaz by punching him in the face, which kept him subdued until law enforcement arrived, which was just minutes from the time the 911 call was placed.

In working on this case, the DA’s Office worked closely with the victims and their desire to avoid the trauma of going through the trial process, while also making sure that the defendant was held accountable and punished appropriately.

Diaz pled to Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, Burglary in the First Degree and Menacing, resulting in a total of 126 months, or 10.5 years. Additionally, Diaz was ordered to engage in substance abuse and mental health treatment, and to have no contact with the victims.

This matter took an exceptionally long time to come to resolution due to the mental health issues the defendant faced during the pendency of the charges. Diaz spent a considerable amount of time at the Oregon State Hospital and was determined Unable to Aid and Assist for portions of that time.

The District Attorney’s Office would like to recognize the extraordinary bravery and resilience displayed by the victims family.