LUBBOCK, Texas — Oscar Diaz Cerna was sentenced on Monday to 45 years in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of Jacob Duffee back in 2017.
In 2017, Duffee was reported missing by his family. A month later he was found dead in a storm drain near 52nd Street and Magnolia Avenue.
“I put God on everything that happened in this case from the minute we started until today. He’s still here because I know I’ll get to see Jake again. That’s what matters, this is not the end for me. I know I’ll get to see him again,” said Ronnie Duffee, Jacob’s father.
The Lubbock Police Department said a woman told them Cerna came to her house and admitted to shooting a man in the face a month prior.
She said Cerna had put the body in a bathtub, but later he asked his father to help move the body to a shallow grave.
When questioned by police, Cerna admitted to having an argument with Duffee, who was his boss at the time. He said Duffe left after the argument. Police later found blood in Cerna’s apartment and then arrested him.
Cerna’s sentencing on Monday provided a glimmer of hope for the grieving family.
“I don’t think there will ever be a time where we get to come past the death of my brother. I think with time we’ve learned to cope with it,” said Elizabeth Duffee, Jacob’s Sister.
While they are grateful their loved ones’ killer will spend almost five decades behind bars, they continue to fight for justice in hopes Cerna never walks free again.
“We’re still fighting for him and we are never going to give up and we are going to continue to do the best that we can to make him proud of us,” said Elizabeth. “Just I feel like it’s still a continuous journey. We don’t want him to ever get out on parole or get probation. We are still going to continue to fight until he stays in there forever or he comes out in a pin box.”
Cerna’s father has also been charged with tampering with evidence since he agreed to help his son move Duffee’s body.