Accused murderer Rogelio Diaz pled no contest Monday to attempted second degree murder in the death of his wife Michelle on June 25, 2011.
Diaz was originally charged with second degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
Attempted second degree murder means that a substantial step was taken in a course of conduct intended to culminate in the commission of an intentional killing of another person, according to Nebraska statutes.
Diaz faces up to 50 years for the charge.
His no contest plea was the result of a bargain with prosecutors.
Diaz told the court that he would plead no contest, but did nothing to cause his wife’s death, and he would not contest the facts of the case.
Defense attorney Stephen Potter said Diaz was willing to plea to the lesser charge to avoid having his children and family pulled through court as witnesses in a trial.
Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling read the facts of the case.
Harling said that Diaz suspected his wife Michelle of cheating on him and the two had been arguing at the couple’s home at 1920 W. 18th. The night Michelle died, he grabbed her off the porch and threw her onto the patio, Harling said.
After the alleged assault, Diaz called rescue crews. Michelle was unresponsive when rescuers arrived and she was pronounced dead at the Great Plains Medical Center. Police were summoned and Diaz was arrested.
An autopsy showed Michelle has suffered extensive head injury.
For nearly 13 months since the death, Diaz has been in the Lincoln County Jail, held on a $2 million bond.
His sentencing is set for Aug. 27. Letters from family members will be submitted to investigators before the sentence is issued, Harling said.