Apparently murder is no longer worthy of jail time. A Georgia man accepted a plea deal that would grant him a nice slap on the wrist for the murder of someone who made the mistake of turning into the wrong driveway.
Philip Sailors pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter, though he intentionally pointed his gun and fired at 23-year-old Rodrigo Diaz in January of 2013. Diaz and some friends were going to pick up a female friend who lived in the area to go ice skating around 10 pm. when the GPS sent them to the wrong home. He was attempting to find the house across the street.
After they pulled into the driveway and waited for a bit, Sailors came out with a handgun, firing a round into the air, according to 15-year-old passenger Yeson Jiminez. As they attempted to leave the house, Sailors pointed his weapon at the car and fired, killing Diaz.
“’Shut up.’ That’s the only thing that came out of his mouth,” Gandy Cardenas, another passenger, said. After murdering the driver, Sailors held the rest of the people in the car, all high school students, at gunpoint until police arrived.
Sailors claimed he thought it was a home invasion, though not a single person left the car, and that he was simply defending himself despite that not a single person in the vehicle had a weapon.
For his malicious murder of someone who just wanted to go ice skating, Sailors will serve 12 months probation and pay a paltry $500 fine.
District Attorney Danny Porter says the family of the victim supports the plea deal.
“They are not in a position where they want to have Mr. Sailors sent to prison for the rest of his life,” Porter said. “They are in a position where it is most important to them, that the public understand that Mr. Diaz, who was driving the car, was not committing any crime. (He) was not engaged in any unlawful activity, was not engaged in anything even improper.”
Sailors made no apology to the victim’s family for his actions, and made no statement regarding the shooting. Despite the D.A.’s claim that the family was on board with the man who murdered Diaz receiving no real punishment, it seems they are resigned to the belief that nothing was going to come of this, anyway. Rodrigo Diaz Sr., the father of the victim, told WSBTV that he wasn’t expecting anything to happen.
However, Diaz Sr. does not want Sailors to spend the rest of his life in prison, as he feels it would destroy two families. The victim’s brother, David, agreed. “There is no point for him to be in lifetime in prison. What we get from that? Nothing,” said David Diaz.
The Diaz family sued Sailors, who settled for an undisclosed amount of money in May.