Monday, June 18, 2018
Public safety

Dade City teenager accused of murdering sister's boyfriend

DADE CITY — Adan David Diaz Jr. had told people what he would do if his sister's boyfriend came to their house again.

On Friday night, authorities say, the boyfriend came and Diaz kept his word.

Juan Quesada-Acuna, 32, was sitting with his girlfriend inside a 2012 white Nissan Altima, parked in the dirt driveway at 40214 River Road. He was on the passenger side.

Diaz saw him. The 17-year-old boy, according to investigators, went to his father's Ford F-150 pickup, took out a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and loaded the magazine. He chambered a round and walked to the car.

Without Quesada-Acuna speaking a word to him, authorities say, Diaz raised the weapon and fired multiple rounds through the passenger window.

The bullets struck Quesada-Acuna in the chest. He died soon after.

Pasco County Sheriff's detectives say the teenager later admitted to the killing.

He faces a charge of first-degree murder and is being held in the Land O'Lakes Detention Center.

Diaz will turn 18 later this month, but with a round face and bulbous nose, he looks much younger. In his mugshot, the Pasco High School student is wearing a black Hawaiian shirt imprinted with red flowers.

On Saturday morning, a half-dozen family members stood around benches in the back yard. They declined to be interviewed.

Out front, shreds of yellow crime-scene tape still hung from the chain-link fence surrounding the modest home. A pair of broken windows were patched with duct tape and what looked like a plastic sheet.

The property sits in one of Pasco County's most rural neighborhoods, just west of the Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area.

Gun violence has visited this home at least once before.

One night in February 2012, two brothers — Jose Contreras, then 24, and Adrian Contreras, then 31 — were arguing with Diaz's father, Adan Diaz Flores, in the home's driveway.

One or both of them, authorities say, shot him twice in the head. Though initially in critical condition, Flores, now 51, survived.

At the time, Sheriff Chris Nocco said the Contreras brothers were feuding with Flores' son-in-law, and the fight somehow led to the home on River Road. Flores also shot at the brothers, but it was unclear whether he hit them.

Nocco didn't say what prompted the fight.

Pasco deputies went on a manhunt for the men but, according to court records and the Sheriff's Office website, neither was ever arrested. Agency spokesman Kevin Doll said he didn't know if anyone had been charged in the shooting.

He declined comment when asked if the two incidents were related, saying detectives had not told him of any possible motives.

Quesada-Acuna lived in an affordable housing complex about 10 miles north of where he died.

On Saturday, nearly a dozen people sat quietly in plastic chairs beneath the shade of the small apartment's front wall.

Two women paced the front lawn, talking into their cell phones. One appeared to wipe tears from her eyes.

No one wished to speak about Quesada-Acuna, but one young man with dark sunglasses and arms covered in tattoos stood from his chair.

"He was a good guy," the man said. "That's all I'm going to tell you."

Times researcher Natalie A. Watson contributed to this report. John Woodrow Cox can be reached at [email protected]

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