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SAN DIEGO COUNTY DIGEST

San Diego

May 16, 1987

A routine traffic stop took an unexpected twist shortly before dawn Friday when a driver suddenly confessed to San Diego police that he had killed his wife several hours earlier in their Huntington Park apartment, police said.

Jose Mercedes Diaz was driving the wrong direction in the 1100 block of 11th Street at 5:30 a.m. when two officers pulled him over, said police spokesman Bill Robinson. When the officers moved to write Diaz a warning citation, he volunteered that he wanted "to tell (them) the truth."

According to Robinson, Diaz, 21, said he had shot his wife because, he said, she had been unfaithful to him. He said he shot her once with a .357 magnum pistol, which he said he had left behind in their apartment, Robinson said.

The officers took Diaz to police headquarters where they dialed a telephone number he had given them as his own. Robinson said a member of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department answered the call and confirmed that the woman was dead.

Diaz, who Robinson described as a security guard who had emigrated from El Salvador, was booked into San Diego County Jail on suspicion of murder. Robinson said Los Angeles sheriff's detectives drove down Friday afternoon and took him back to Los Angeles.

Robinson said the couple has a 1 1/2-year-old child.

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