DA Vance: Carlos Diaz Sentenced to 35 Years-to-Life in State Prison for Attempting to Murder his Wife and Former Boss by Setting Them on Fire

January 14, 2016

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of CARLOS DIAZ, 38, to 35 years-to-life in state prison for attempting to murder his wife and his former employer in Inwood in January 2013. On December 15, 2015, DIAZ was found guilty by a New York State Supreme Court jury of all of the counts in the indictment against him, including Attempted Murder in the First and Second Degrees, Assault, Attempted Assault, and Attempted Arson. 

“Carlos Diaz planned and executed a vicious attack that was not only designed to kill his victims, but to torture them while doing so,” said District Attorney Vance. “Once again, we see that the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when that person attempts to end a relationship. Were it not for heroic bystanders, skilled doctors, and the sheer strength of this survivor, this devastating act of domestic violence could have turned fatal. I would like to thank the jurors for their service on this case, and I hope that this lengthy prison sentence provides some measure of closure to the victim as she continues on the road to recovery.” 

As proven at trial, at approximately 8:05 a.m. on January 16, 2013, DIAZ met his wife, from whom he is separated, in an Inwood parking lot and tried to persuade her to get into his van. When she refused, the defendant sprayed her with a fire accelerant, and then used a blow torch to ignite the fluid. As she struggled to extinguish the flames, DIAZ fled the parking lot in his van and drove to a nearby mechanic shop on 10th Avenue, where he had previously worked. DIAZ took a gas can from the van and spread the flammable liquid on his former employer and around his office, but his former employer was able to prevent him from lighting the fuel. Shortly thereafter, the defendant surrendered and was placed under arrest at the 34th Precinct.

Assistant District Attorneys Randolph Clarke, Jr., and Atalanta Mihas handled the prosecution of this case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Eugene Porcaro, Chief of Trial Bureau 30, and Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Trial Preparation Assistants Krystal Valentin and Timothy Davis assisted with the case. 

District Attorney Vance thanked NYPD Officers Raul Aquino and Eileen Torres, Detective Patrick Bubb, and Sergeant Jenny Matokovic, all of the 34th Precinct, for their assistance with the investigation.

Defendant Information: 

CARLOS DIAZ, D.O.B. 7/27/1977


  • Attempted Murder in the First Degree, a class A felony, one count
  • Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, a class B felony, two counts
  • Assault in the First Degree, a class B felony, two counts
  • Attempted Assault in the First Degree, a class C felony, two counts
  • Attempted Arson in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count


  • 35 years-to-life in state prison