Annapolis, MD -- Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams announced today that Santos Abel Diaz-Lemus, 31, of Annapolis, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in relation to the death of Fredy Roberto Lopez-Martinez.
"Mr. Diaz-Lemus exerted an unreasonable amount of force when he used a screwdriver against an unarmed opponent," said Anne Arundel County State's Attorney Wes Adams. "Had it not been for this escalation in violence, the victim would be alive today. I'm grateful to all agencies involved in holding Mr. Diaz-Lemus accountable for his actions and bringing him to justice."
On June 17, 2017, Howard County Fire and Rescue responded to a report of an unconscious man. Upon arrival, authorities located Fredy Roberto Lopez-Martinez laying in his car outside of his home. Lopez-Martinez was transported to University of Maryland Shock Trauma, where he was treated for an extensive intracranial bleed, skull fracture, and left orbital roof fracture. The victim's condition continued to decline, and he was pronounced brain dead on June 27, 2017.
After determining the altercation leading to the victim's death occurred in Jessup, Maryland the case was referred to Anne Arundel County Police. Upon investigation, police learned that on the evening of June 16, the victim and the defendant, Santos Abel Diaz-Lemus, met at the victim's home in Columbia, Maryland and drank alcohol. When the defendant announced that he needed to leave to go buy milk for his kids, the victim became upset and asked him to stay and continue to drink. The defendant refused and left without incident.
Later that same evening, the victim and his companion decided to continue drinking at their coworker's home in Jessup, Maryland. When they arrived, they saw the defendant's car in the driveway. The victim became enraged and parked his car behind the defendant's, obstructing the defendant's ability to leave. He then continued to drink while waiting for the defendant to exit the residence.
The defendant exited the residence and got into his car. The victim walked over to the car, opened the door, and began striking the defendant with his fists. The defendant exited the car with a screwdriver in his hand, and struck the victim three times, puncturing him once above the left eye. The defendant then fled the scene.
An arrest warrant was issued for Diaz-Lemus. He was apprehended in Kingwood, Texas on July 13, 2017 and extradited back to Maryland.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 14, 2017.
Judge Michele D. Jaklitsch presided over the case. Deputy State's Attorney Claude de Vastey-Jones and Assistant State's Attorney Brian Palmer prosecuted the case on behalf of the citizens of Anne Arundel County.