Diego Uribe Cruz is seen in this 2016 book photo after the slayings of six members of his family, including two young boys. | Photo: Cook County Sheriff

CHICAGO — A judge on Monday sentenced a man to life in prison for killing six members of his family, including two young boys, inside their Chicago home in 2016.[1]

A jury last month found Diego Uribe Cruz guilty of six counts of first-degree murder in the slayings in the victims' bungalow in the Gage Park neighborhood on the city’s Southwest Side.

During his trial, prosecutors alleged Uribe Cruz shot his aunt, 32-year-old Maria Martinez, after he tried to rob her on Feb. 4, 2016, before he fatally stabbed her sons, ages 10 and 13, and stabbed or beat to death other relatives to make sure there were no witnesses.

Evidence against Uribe Cruz included DNA recovered from under Martinez’s fingernails and a small amount of blood that matched that of Uribe Cruz. Prosecutors also showed the jury a video in which Uribe Cruz confessed some of the details to Chicago police detectives.

Also, Uribe Cruz’s former girlfriend, Jafeth Ramos, 25, testified against him. Ramos, who was originally charged with murder along with Uribe Cruz, testified as part of a plea deal that called for her to plead guilty to armed robbery and agree to cooperate with authorities.

Investigators said DNA tests linked Uribe Cruz to the crime. They said cellphone records also connected both Uribe Cruz and Ramos to the scene.

Ramos in her testimony described how Uribe Cruz methodically killed each victim. She's expected to be sentenced next month.

Uribe Cruz declined to give a statement before he was sentenced.

His attorneys said in court that they intend to appeal. They said during his trial he could not have killed all six people by himself. They suggested he was present when the family was killed in a robbery by four masked men.

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Notes & References

  1. Press, Associated. “Chicago Man Found Guilty in Murder of 6 Family Members.” Chicago Journal. Chicago Journal, October 5, 2022. https://www.chicagojournal.com/chicago-man-found-guilty-in-murder-of-6-family-members/. ↩︎