Polk teen accused in deadly baseball bat attack calls victim’s mom from jail

Polk County

The last year has been a year of pain and suffering for Nikki McNabb.  

Last March, her son, 15-year old Giovanni Diaz, was beaten to death with a baseball bat.

The murder happened in the Lake Wales neighborhood where the family lived. It’s also the same neighborhood where the accused killer, Dillen Murray, lives.

Murray is now 17-years old and is charged with first degree murder. He remains behind bars in the Polk County Jail awaiting trial.

But in an unusual move, and perhaps a legally questionable one, Murray has reached out to McNabb not once, but twice. McNabb says he first called her on the phone and then sent her a letter in the mail. She saved the envelope, which is postmarked from the Polk County Jail.

When Murray first called, she had to accept the charges. She says Murray tried to explain why this happened. “He’s like, ‘We were just arguing, we got into a heated altercation and it just went from there,'” McNabb recalled. “‘And the next thing I remember is realizing I’m yelling for Gio’s name and I panic and I called the cops.'”

McNabb says Murray said he would cry and express his sorrow over what happened, but other inmates were watching.

Then, she received the letter.  It’s one page written in pencil on the front and back. He claims he traded a bag of chips to another inmate for the envelope.  

McNabb has read the letter over and over again since first opening it on Feb. 19. It just doesn’t make sense.  “And that’s the reason why I keep reading this over and over,” said McNabb.  “I’m trying to figure out his way of thinking, like, what are you getting at? What are you trying to do? I’m lost.”

News Channel 8 On Your Side contacted the state attorney’s office.  A representative confirmed prosecutors are aware of the letter.  A records custodian is also working on providing a copy of the phone conversation made from the jail.

Murray closes by writing, “I’m sorry. I wish I could repeat time and bring him back.”  He also writes that he would like to keep in touch.  

McNabb can’t understand.  

“Why?  Why do you want to keep in touch with me?  Why would you want to?”

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