Tucson man admits hindering murder probe

2013-02-14T12:51:00Z 2013-02-15T07:23:09Z Tucson man admits hindering murder probeKim Smith Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A Tucson man who admitted sealing a murder victim up in a bathroom could be placed on probation or receive up to a 10-year prison sentence.

Jorge Osorio Diaz, 23, pleaded guilty Thursday to burglary and hindering prosecution and will be sentenced March 29 by Pima County Superior Court Judge Casey McGinley.

Diaz’s lover, Jonathan Baumbach, killed Robert Pardee, 61, in June 2011, according to court documents and testimony.

Diaz admitted that afterward he used tape to seal Pardee up in a bathroom in the hopes of keeping the smell at bay. He also acknowledged he and Baumbach, 28, stole the victim’s credit cards, truck and other personal belongings.

The two men partied in Las Vegas for a couple of days before continuing to Washington, where they were found sleeping in the back of Pardee's truck.

Baumbach, who was once facing a potential death sentence, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and kidnapping. He was sentenced to 31 years in prison earlier this week.

Kellie Johnson, chief criminal deputy county attorney, said Baumbach was offered a plea agreement to spare Pardee’s daughter the trauma of a trial.

Court documents and testimony indicate Pardee was killed because he became tired of Baumbach and Diaz using his home to party.

Pardee, a landscape architect, took part in designing Agua Caliente Park and participated in the creation of Feliz Paseos Park, which is distinctive for its paved trail to afford access to the disabled.

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