Jorge Diaz
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The suspect accused of a stabbing homicide at a Hollister cemetery in March 2011 has pleaded not guilty.

Jorge M. Diaz, 34, a homeless man from the Hollister area, pleaded not guilty during a Thursday arraignment at the San Benito County Courthouse. In January, he had waived his right to a preliminary hearing where a judge could have decided if there was enough evidence for a trial.

Diaz is now set for a trial setting – where a trial date might be scheduled – at 9 a.m. Feb. 23 in room 101 of the courthouse. He remains at the San Benito County Jail with bail set at $1 million, while he is represented by public defender Greg LaForge. 

Diaz is accused of stabbing 72-year-old Francisco Rojas on March 30 of last year at the IOOF Cemetery on Buena Vista Road.

Witnesses described seeing Diaz with Rojas moments before the murder, according to the sheriff’s office, which investigated the case.

Diaz was found at another location in Hollister the day after the homicide.

Around 3:15 p.m. March 30, deputies responded to the 600 block of Buena Vista after a report of a stabbing. Deputies found Rojas with a stab wounds in his heart and on his hands. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

If convicted, Diaz is facing 25 years to life in prison.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.

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