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Man who shot his ex-girlfriend’s sister is sent to prison for life

April 16, 1997

DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) _ A man who fatally shot his ex-girlfriend’s look-alike sister was convicted of first-degree murder Tuesday and sentenced to life in prison.

A jury convicted John Anthony Diaz of killing 25-year-old Dawn Brown on July 10, 1993, at a bridal shower for her sister, his former girlfriend, Kimberlee.

Prosecutors said he planned to kill Kimberlee but made a crucial mistake. As he jumped from behind a tree outside her parents’ home on July 10, 1993, he accidentally shot and killed her sister. Both have blond hair and blue eyes and looked so much alike that people got them confused.

``I’m thinking that justice has been served and that my sister can rest in peace,″ Kimberlee Brown Goldstein said outside court after the sentencing.

Another sister spoke against Diaz during the sentencing.

``You belong to the devil and you should never be allowed to exist again in society,″ Gigi Suozzo told the court.

The defense had argued that racial insecurity led Diaz to kill.

Diaz testified that his judgment was clouded by the self-loathing he said he felt when the Brown family rejected him, purportedly because he was black. The Browns are white.

When Kimberlee Brown left him, ``he didn’t know how to deal with it. He blamed her family for the breakup. He hated himself, wanted to be someone else,″ his attorney, Henry F. Owens III, said.

Jeffrey Locke, Norfolk County District Attorney, said Diaz’s claims were not enough to diminish the magnitude of the killing.

``His actions spoke much louder than his words on the stand,″ he said. ``There was nothing he could do that could change the cold hard facts of his conduct. This was a jilted love affair turned into hatred and rage. ... That’s been first-degree murder since we’ve had law.″

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