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Press Release

Man Convicted Of 2006 Murder Of Kelly Diaz

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that EDWIN CORTORREAL, a/k/a “Crazy Ed,” was found guilty of all three counts at trial, including conspiracy to commit racketeering and two counts for robbing and murdering Kelly Diaz in 2006 in Washington Heights.  The verdict followed a five-day trial before U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “In 2006, Edwin Cortorreal conducted a terrifying, gunpoint home invasion robbery in Washington Heights, during which he shot Kelly Diaz in the head, killing him in front of his wife.  Kelly Diaz was only 24 years old at the time.  We hope today’s verdict will bring some solace to the victim’s family and sends the message that we will not rest until justice is done.”

According to the evidence presented in court during the trial:

From at least 2006 to in or about 2013, a violent robbery crew known as the “Hot Boys” committed countless burglaries and robberies and sold narcotics in the Washington Heights area.  EDWIN CORTORREAL was a trusted associate of the Hot Boys.  In 2006, CORTORREAL and four other members and associates of the Hot Boys broke into Kelly Diaz’s apartment in the middle of the night.  During the course of the robbery, CORTORREAL and his co-conspirators duct-taped Diaz to a chair and threw his wife to the ground.  As they were leaving, CORTORREAL came back and shot Diaz point-blank in the head, killing him instantly as his wife looked on.  Less than a year later, CORTORREAL planned to commit another armed robbery, during which he plotted to kill the victims to avoid leaving behind any witnesses. 

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CORTORREAL, 36, of the Dominican Republic, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering, which carries a maximum term of life in person; one count of murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison; and one count of the use of a firearm resulting in death, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of a defendant will be determined by the judge.

CORTORREAL is scheduled to be sentenced on September 20, 2023.

Mr. Williams thanked the New York Healthcare Fraud Unit of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), and NYPD Task Force Officers assigned to the United States Attorney’s Office for their work on the investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mathew Andrews, David Denton, Courtney Heavey, Adam Hobson, Emily Johnson, Ni Qian, Justin Rodriguez, and Hagan Scotten are in charge of the prosecution, with the assistance of paralegal specialist Mia Vuckovich.


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated April 26, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-153