Lubbock man charged in 2017 murder out of jail on bond, family speaks out

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Earlier this week, a man accused of murdering his former boss posted bond so he could be released from jail, according to court records.

Oscar Diaz Cerna, 26, was arrested and charged with the murder of Jacob Wayne Duffee in 2017.

Duffee’s family spoke to KAMC News and said they’re frustrated that Cerna was released on bond and that they were shocked the amount he had to post was not higher.

After Cerna was found fit to stand trial, his bond was set at $30,000 in November 2019. The original bond on his murder warrant was $250,000.

“We’ve waited for three years now, and we haven’t gotten justice — and now [Cerna] is out,” Duffee’s mother, Jody, said. “And there’s a good chance that he’ll run.”

Duffee, 30, of Levelland was last seen in September 2017. His family and Levelland Police went public with a request for help.

In October 2017, Levelland Police announced that Duffee’s truck was found in Lubbock County. But there was no sign of Duffee.

Then, on November 1, 2017, Lubbock Police located Duffee’s body on 44th Street and Magnolia. Duffee’s family said he was identified through fingerprints.

Cerna was arrested and charged with Duffee’s murder after a witness told police Cerna confessed to a family member about shooting a man in the face.

According to court records, Cerna asked a family member to help dispose of the body.

That person was later identified as Cerna’s father, Oscar P. Cerna, 44, who remained in the Lubbock County Detention Center Thursday.

Oscar P. Cerna, 44, via the Lubbock County Detention Center

“[Oscar Diaz Cerna] did state he had been with Jacob Duffee before his disappearance but denied killing him,” court records said.

He admitted having an argument with Duffee at his apartment, but that Duffee left after that argument.

Duffee’s father Ronnie said it was comforting knowing that Cerna was behind bars before he posted bond.

“We felt comfort knowing he was in jail,” he said. “And now that he’s released on bond, it just makes us wonder, is there ever going to be an end to this?”

Duffee’s mother said the last three years following his murder have been tough.

“That’s been real hard on our family,” Jody said. “It’s been real hard on us.”

We reached out to Cerna’s attorney, Cynthia Mendoza, who said in a statement, “Mr. Cerna has exercised his constitutional right to post bail and we look forward to presenting our case at trial.  I cannot comment further since this is a pending matter.”

RELATED STORY: The Search Ends for Jacob Duffee, Family Remembers Him as a Loving Son
RELATED STORY: Body of Missing Levelland Man Found, Arrest Made for Murder

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