Man Sentenced to 18 Years to Life for Brutal Domestic Violence Murder
News from the Office of District Attorney George Gascón
MAN SENTENCED TO 18 YEARS TO LIFE FOR BRUTAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE MURDER
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced that Rickey Joseph Roberts, age 60, of San Francisco has been sentenced to 18 years to life for the second-degree murder of Olga Diaz-Clark, a 60-year-old San Francisco resident. Earlier this summer, a San Francisco jury found Mr. Roberts guilty of second-degree murder and of making criminal threats against the victim. Ms. Diaz-Clark was an ex-girlfriend of Mr. Roberts at the time of her death.
“The defendant, over time, stripped Ms. Diaz-Clark of her right to live her life in peace,”said District Attorney George Gascón. “Domestic violence is not a crime that only occurs in the shadows; it’s visible and intervention is possible. If you’re living under constant threat, or know someone who is, please reach out. You’re not alone.”
According to court documents, on December 13, 2015, at approximately 5:00 a.m., Ms. Diaz-Clark was sleeping when Mr. Roberts entered her residence. She woke up as he assaulted her. He punched her repeatedly in the face and head with closed fists while threatening to kill her. He used both hands to choke her, causing her to fall and lose consciousness.
When Ms. Diaz-Clark regained consciousness, she was lying on the floor of her apartment but Mr. Roberts was gone. She went to the lobby of her apartment complex and asked the security guard to dial 911. She had visible injuries to her face and neck, and was in distress from the attack. The security guard relayed the details of the assault to the 911 operator as Ms. Diaz-Clark described them to him, including that the victim had been “choked-out” by Mr. Roberts.
At approximately 5:49 AM, medical personnel and police officers arrived at the apartment complex. Ms. Diaz-Clark, crying and shaking, described how Mr. Roberts assaulted her and caused her to lose consciousness for several minutes. She also stated that Mr. Roberts lived in the same apartment complex.
Officers approached the unit that Mr. Roberts lived in and knocked on the door. Mr. Roberts’ brother answered and gave the officers permission to enter. They discovered Mr. Roberts asleep on the couch. They woke him and questioned him about what happened between him and Ms. Diaz-Clark. He was subsequently arrested and taken into custody.
Medical personnel determined that Ms. Diaz-Clark had sustained a blow to the right side of her head, resulting in blood clotting, a depression behind her right ear, a cut to her lower lip, swelling of her right jaw, abrasions and redness on her throat; and was experiencing pain to the left side of her head and right side of her stomach. She was rushed to the hospital where she eventually went into a coma. Doctors attempted to release pressure on her brain by surgical means but were unsuccessful. She subsequently went into a vegetative state and passed away on December 16, 2015, as a result of the assault by Mr. Roberts.
Officers interviewed Mr. Roberts the day after the assault, but he denied causing the victim’s injuries. He had a long history of assaulting, strangling, and threatening Ms. Diaz-Clark. Prior to the assault that led to her death, Mr. Roberts had left the victim numerous voice messages throughout the month of November 2015, threatening to “hunt” her down and kill her.
“Ms. Diaz-Clark suffered many years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of Rickey Roberts,” said Assistant District Attorney Sam Totah. “The victim’s family showed remarkable strength during the pendency of this case, and I commend them for working with our office to achieve justice for their loved one.”
The Honorable Carol Yaggy presided. This successful prosecution is due to the excellent investigation by Sergeant Inspector David Almaguer of the SFPD’s Special Victims Unit and Sergeant Gary Watts of the SFPD’s Homicide Unit. Special recognition goes to our city’s community organizations dedicated to stopping domestic violence for their support throughout the case. Additional thanks go to Paralegal Tony Yu, and Victim Advocates Priscilla Portillo and Peter Huynh. Assistant District Attorney Sam Totah prosecuted the case.