The Justice Files: Evelyn Derricott’s killer confesses

Justice Files

TOOELE Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Eight years after the murder of Evelyn Derricott there is an admission of guilt.

Monday, Rogelio Diaz Jr. pleaded guilty to charges involving the death of Derricott. In 2011, her body was found in her Tooele home.

But it took another five years before Diaz was charged with the crime.

“It’s a start (in seeking justice),” said her daughter Candace Slaugh. “We can now move on.”

Derricott was brutally beaten to death with a hammer. And her car was found abandoned in Kearns.

“From the outset of the original investigation DNA was present and ultimately that’s what connected him,” said Sgt. Chris Thompson with Tooele Police.

Diaz’ trial was to start Monday. But instead, he pleaded guilty to reduce charges of manslaughter and aggravated burglary. During his sentencing, Diaz said very little. He failed to offer any apology.

“That’s on him,” said Slaugh. “I have no control over how he acts. My reaction is I’m sorry for him (and) very sorry for his family and the thing that they have gone through and will go through. But his choices are his choices.”

In addition to entering his plea, Diaz asked to be sentenced immediately. He’ll spend a minimum of six years to life in prison.

Scott broadhead, Tooele county attorney:
“We figure he’ll be before the board (of pardons) in 25-to-30 years what they decide to do with him at that point it’s hard to know.”

For five years, Derricott’s family stressed out not knowing who could have murdered their mother. Looking back Slaugh said she is grateful police never gave up.

Tuesday will be Derricott’s birthday according to her daughter. Slaugh who is a school teacher said her second-grade class used to sing happy birthday to her mother with a phone call.

“(It’s) hard, strange,” she said. “It’s like you lose a piece of yourself and you can’t get back.”

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