A jealous husband who doused his estranged wife in gasoline and set her on fire with a blowtorch has received a sentence of 35 years to life in prison.
Carlos Diaz, 38, was convicted of attempted murder, assault and attempted arson in December for a January 2013 attack on his former wife, the New York District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
In court, his former wife, Cathy Zappata, described the attack in which Diaz sprayed her with accelerant and used a blowtorch on her in an Inwood parking lot, the New York Post stated, quoting her description of the event. “I threw myself on the floor. Someone came to assist me and threw water on me. My body was shaking — I couldn’t do anything. I felt cold,” she said.
As she was struggling to extinguish the flames, Diaz fled the scene and later surrendered and was placed under arrest, according to the DA’s statement.
Zappata was hospitalized for eight days and suffered second-degree burns, the Post added.
There are plans to deport Diaz to the Dominican Republic when he is released from prison, the New York Daily News reported in a related article.
“Carlos Diaz planned and executed a vicious attack that was not only designed to kill his victims, but to torture them while doing so,” said District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. “Once again, we see that the most dangerous time for a victim of domestic violence is when that person attempts to end a relationship.”