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Joel Diaz

Florida Death Row Inmate

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Joel Diaz

Joel Diaz

Prison Photo
Joel Diaz and Lissa Shaw dated for about two years, and in the second year of their relationship, Lissa Shaw and her daughter lived in Diaz’s home. In August 1997, Lissa Shaw moved in with her parents, Charles and Barbara Shaw. After she moved out, Lissa Shaw refused all contact with Joel Diaz.

On October 6, 1997, Diaz purchased a .38 caliber revolver from a pawn shop. On October 28, Diaz went to the Shaw’s house to confront Lissa Shaw. At 6:30 a.m., Shaw was leaving for work. She started her the car and when she opened the garage door with a remote control, she saw someone slip under the garage door. Diaz was then at her driver’s side window, pointing a gun at her. Lissa Shaw distracted Diaz, then shoved the car into reverse and backed out of the garage. Diaz fired three shots at the car, striking her in the neck and shoulder.

Before she drove herself to the hospital, she saw Diaz confront Charles Shaw in the front yard, pointing the gun at Mr. Shaw. Mr. Shaw and Diaz had a confrontation in the garage that continued with Diaz chasing Mr. Shaw into the master bedroom. At some point in the confrontation, a neighbor, Roy Isakson, came to investigate the gunshots. Diaz pointed the gun at Isakson and told him to get out, and Isakson left and called the police.

Barbara Shaw, a quadriplegic, was lying in bed at the time of the argument. In the bedroom, Diaz had the gun pointed at Charles Shaw, who was trying to calm Diaz. Diaz pulled the trigger, but the gun was out of ammunition. When Charles Shaw realized that Diaz was reloading, he fled to the bathroom. Diaz followed and shot Shaw three times in the chest.

Barbara Shaw screamed, "Why did you do this?," to which Diaz answered that Charles Shaw deserved to die. Diaz then returned to the bathroom and fired two more shots into Charles Shaw. According to Barbara Shaw, Diaz said, "If that bitch of a daughter of yours, if I could have got her, I wouldn’t have had to kill your husband." Diaz remained in the house until police arrived and arrested him.

Source: Florida Commission on Capital Cases

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