Nevada County judge sentences man convicted in home invasion to 17 years |

Nevada County judge sentences man convicted in home invasion to 17 years

Michael Diaz

Michael Diaz — convicted of a Nevada County home invasion — is in state prison after his sentencing this month in Superior Court, authorities said.

Diaz, 48, was sentenced June 3 to 17 years on charges of home invasion robbery and burglary, prosecutors said. Accused along with two other men of a Dec. 11, 2017, break-in of a Grizzly Trail home, Diaz went to trial in February. Jurors took an afternoon to convict.

“The People are satisfied with the judge’s sentence and believe that it was fair based on the evidence at trial and Diaz’s history,” Deputy District Attorney Casey Ayer said in an email.

Prosecutors have said in court documents that Diaz was convicted 30 years ago in Colorado of second-degree murder and kidnapping.

Deputy Public Defender Micah Pierce, who represents Diaz, declined comment.

Ayer argued to jurors that Diaz traveled to his cousin’s Nevada County home from Texas with the intention of robbing him. Diaz and two other men — identified by authorities as Steve Ray Rhodes and Shawn Turnage — tied up a tenant after forcing their way inside the home.

Officers arrested all three men hours later. Rhodes and Turnage accepted plea deals last year. Both received six-year prison sentences, reports state.

Pierce in his argument to jurors questioned the truthfulness of the tenant and homeowner, saying they gave different versions of events.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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