Man sentenced to 20 years in prison for 2019 Pickens County murder

Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

PICKENS COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — On Wednesday, a man was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison for killing another man and leaving his body in the middle of Pickens County Road back in 2019.

Zocimo Hernandez, 25, pleaded guilty to the murder of Herman Diaz Diego.

“Diego and Hernandez knew each other and became involved in an argument. This was purportedly Diego believing that Hernandez had placed a voodoo curse on him,” said District Attorney Andy Hamlin.

On the night of April 6, 2019, a driver called 911 around 10:30 p.m. to report that a man was lying in the middle of the road. Investigators identified the man to be Diego, a 34-year-old from Mexico City, Mexico.

Diego had been reported missing by his boss who became concerned when he uncharacteristically failed to show up to work at the chicken processing plant in Brooksville, Miss.

Diego’s vehicle was found abandoned near Walmart in Northport. Investigators discovered blood inside and after an investigation, developed Hernandez as a suspect.

Investigators interviewed Hernandez where he confessed to the murder and the theft of Diego’s vehicle. Investigators also recovered the handgun used in the murder, which was found near Hernandez’s residence in the Moundville area.

“This was a complete team effort. This investigation was a ‘who done it’ when it was initiated. The fact that the Defendant, victim and most of the witnesses were Hispanic immigrants made it very difficult to locate witnesses and communicate with them. We realized this early on and developed ways to overcome these issues,” said Hamlin.

Hernandez is in the custody of the Pickens County Sheriff and will be transported to the Alabama Department of Corrections. He will be required to serve 15 years before being eligible for parole. Upon completion of the sentence, he will be subject to deportation.

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