SANTA FE — A Santa Fe woman was charged this week with stabbing her boyfriend – an echo of a similar crime from her past that resulted in two trials and a guilty plea in the death of another lover.
Johanna Diaz, 32, was arrested Tuesday morning on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and concealing her identity from police.
According to the probable cause statement for Diaz’s arrest, Diaz’s boyfriend told police the woman stabbed him with what officers identified as a steak knife.
The man had small lacerations on some of his fingers and a scrape on his right forearm but refused medical attention.
Diaz had bruises on her arms, face and torso. She told police her boyfriend had caused the injuries, according to the statement. Officers thought most of the bruises were old and were later told by Diaz’s boyfriend’s son that Diaz had shown up at their house with the bruises three days earlier after being away for nearly two weeks.
In 2005, Diaz, then known as Johanna Andrez, was charged with murder and two counts of tampering with evidence in connection with the stabbing death of her boyfriend Manuel Garcia.
An initial trial ended in a hung jury. She was convicted of second-degree murder in a second trial but appealed. The conviction was overturned by the state Court of Appeals, but in 2010 she pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter. She’d been in jail since 2005 and was sentenced to time served and placed on probation.
In the 2005 case, Diaz initially told police Garcia had committed suicide by stabbing himself in the chest after a domestic dispute.
But Diaz later admitted she was responsible for Garcia’s death after she failed a polygraph test in which she was asked “if she put the knife” in Garcia’s chest. Court records said that Diaz confessed to stabbing Garcia and then placing the knife in his hand after he was dead.
A probable cause statement for Diaz’s arrest in 2005 said a couple who had been drinking with Diaz and Garcia the night of his death told police they had witnessed many physical altercations between the two and Diaz was always the aggressor.
“Johanna has stabbed Manuel in the arm in the past; she has broken a beer bottle over his head and beat him numerous times with her hands and feet,” the statement said. The couple also told police that Diaz was on probation for beating another woman with brass knuckles.
According to the New Mexico courts website, Diaz also pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated battery in 2002 and was sentenced to three years of probation.
Tuesday’s incident occurred at 1623 C De Baca Lane. Santa Fe Police visited the house around 4:30 a.m. after receiving a report of a woman screaming and objects being thrown around and broken.
A young man at the house told police he had witnessed Diaz trying to stab his father in the family’s kitchen.
Officers went into a bedroom where the couple was holed up. According to the probable cause statement, they observed Diaz’s boyfriend holding a bloody piece of cloth over his hand. He appeared to be bleeding, the statement said.
The man told police nothing was wrong and the couple had merely been engaged in rough sex, according to the statement.
Diaz was in bed fully clothed. She initially told officers her name was Carmen Martinez but later admitted that was a false name she had given police because she has outstanding warrants.
Around that time, officers learned about Diaz’s history with Garcia, the statement said. Her boyfriend, when “confronted with the information,” told officers Diaz had stabbed him and led them to a bloody knife in the kitchen sink, the statement said.
In addition to her bruises, Diaz complained of pain in her rib cage. She was taken to Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center.
Diaz was later booked into the Santa Fe County Detention Center without bond.