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'I feel like a monster': Teen lured his friend to the woods and beat him to death over a girl

polk county
Source: Polk County Sheriff's Office; MEGA

Jan. 8 2022, Published 9:22 a.m. ET

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A teenager beat his friend to death with a baseball bat over jealousy about a girl. It is a decision that will cost him his freedom for most of his adult life.

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Recently, a Florida judge sentenced Dillen Murray to 60 years in prison after he admitted to killing his 15-year-old friend Giovanni Diaz in 2018. Murray, who was 16 years old at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder during a 2019 hearing, according to WFLA.

Murray was accused of luring Diaz into the woods in Bartow, Florida, and beating him to death with a baseball bat, according to WTSP.

Diaz was hit nine times in the head with the bat, according to WTSP.

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Murray called 911 after the attack and said he hit his friend with a bat in self-defense, according to WFLA. But police said they didn’t see evidence of Diaz hitting Murray. The teen then confessed and told the truth.


Investigators said Murray was jealous over a girl who did not like him in return, WFLA reported.

Detectives asked Murray about how he felt about his actions. The teen reportedly said, “I feel bad. I feel like s***. I feel like a monster. I feel like I don’t deserve to live.”

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At a vigil after the murder, Diaz’s father, Jose Diaz-Medrano, said his son had a loving heart.

“My son touched a lot of lives. A lot of lives. He helped everyone,” Diaz-Medrano said, according to WFLA.

His mother, Nikki McNabb, said at the vigil that her son touched many lives and that gave her strength and purpose.

“I’m going to continue in his footsteps,” McNabb said, according to WFLA. “It starts at home. It really does. But I’m going to find a way and try to bring this community even closer and try to help these kids.”


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