The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly. This information; however, is subject to change and may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied upon for statistical or legal purposes.
DIAZ, Joel (H/M)
Twentieth Judicial Circuit, Lee County Case # 97-3305
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Thomas S. Reese
Attorney, Trial: J. Frank Porter & Neil Potter – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Steven Bolotin – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Terri Backhus & Roseanne Eckert – CCRC-S
Date of Offense: 10/28/97
Date of Sentence: 01/29/01
Circumstances of Offense:
Joel Diaz and Lissa Shaw dated for about two years, and in the second year of their relationship, Lissa Shaw and her daughter lived in Diaz’s home. In August 1997, Lissa Shaw moved in with her parents, Charles and Barbara Shaw. After she moved out, Lissa Shaw refused all contact with Joel Diaz.
On 10/06/97, Diaz purchased a .38 caliber revolver from a pawn shop. After waiting for the mandatory three-day waiting period and for his background check to clear, Diaz picked up the gun from the pawn shop.
On 10/28/97, Diaz went to the Shaw’s house to confront Lissa Shaw. At 6:30 a.m., Lissa Shaw was leaving for work. She started her car, which was parked in the garage, and saw someone slip under the garage door when she opened the it with a remote control. Diaz was then at her driver’s side window, pointing a gun at her. Lissa Shaw distracted Diaz, then shoved the car into reverse and backed out of the garage. Diaz fired three shots at the car, striking her in the neck and shoulder. Before she drove herself to the hospital, she saw Diaz confront Charles Shaw in the front yard, pointing the gun at Mr. Shaw. Mr. Shaw and Diaz had a confrontation in the garage that continued with Diaz chasing Mr. Shaw into the master bedroom. At some point in the confrontation, a neighbor, Roy Isakson, came to investigate the gunshots. Diaz pointed the gun at Isakson and told him to “Get the f--- out of here.” Isakson left and called the police.
Barbara Shaw, a quadriplegic, was lying in bed at the time of the argument. In the bedroom, Diaz had the gun pointed at Charles Shaw, who was trying to calm Diaz. Diaz pulled the trigger, but the gun was out of ammunition. When Charles Shaw realized that Diaz was reloading, he fled to the bathroom. Diaz followed and shot Shaw three times in the chest. Barbara Shaw screamed, “Why did you do this?” Diaz answered that Charles Shaw deserved to die. Diaz then returned to the bathroom and fired two more shots into Charles Shaw. According to Barbara Shaw, Diaz said, “If that bitch of a daughter of yours, if I could have got her, I wouldn’t have had to kill your husband.” Diaz remained in the house until police arrived and arrested him.
11/18/97 Indicted as follows:
Count I First-Degree Murder (Charles Shaw)
Count II Attempted First-Degree Murder (Lissa Shaw)
Count III Aggravated Assault with a Firearm (Roy Isakson)
07/28/00 Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment
10/10/00 Jury recommended death by a vote of 9-3
01/29/01 Sentenced as follows:
Count I First-Degree Murder (Charles Shaw) – Death
Count II Attempted First-Degree Murder (Lissa Shaw) – 12 years 7 months
Count III Aggravated Assault with a Firearm (Roy Isakson) – 5 years
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
860 So.2d 960
02/05/01 Appeal filed
09/11/03 FSC affirmed convictions and sentences
11/18/03 Rehearing denied and Mandate issued
U.S. Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari
541 U.S. 1011
02/11/04 Petition filed
04/26/04 USSC denied Petition
Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion
04/15/05 Motion filed
06/21/10 Evidentiary hearing held
Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:
The 3.851 motion has been pending for over 5 years.
On 02/05/01, Diaz filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, citing the following errors: finding that the murder was heinous, atrocious, or cruel; finding that the murder was cold, calculated, and premeditated; and the disproportionality of the death penalty. On 09/11/03, the FSC affirmed the convictions and sentences.
On 02/11/04, Diaz filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court, which was denied on 04/26/04.
On 04/15/05, Diaz filed a 3.851 Motion with the Circuit Court. An evidentiary hearing was held from 06/21/10-06/24/10. The 3.851 motion is pending.
THE FOLLOWING ENTRIES REFLECT DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AGAINST THE INMATE FOR VIOLATION OF THE RULE CITED AND INDICATE THE GAIN TIME DAYS LOST.
DATE DAYS VIOLATION LOCATION
09/05/01 14 POSS OF CONTRABAND FLORIDA STATE PRISON
Report Date: 01/12/04 JFL
Approved: 01/26/04 WS
Updated: 08/05/10 KKR