Affidavit: Suspect in shooting of young Smith Co. mother claims gun went off during struggle

Affidavit: Suspect in shooting of young Smith Co. mother claims gun went off during struggle
Woman dead. suspect at large after Smith County shooting (Source: Woman dead. suspect at large after Smith County shooting)

SMITH COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - A probable cause affidavit reveals details behind the murder of a Smith County woman on Aug. 9.

Diamond Samantha Cruz, a young mother of two, was shot in her home on Aug. 9 in Smith County. Catalino Castillo Marin, Jr., 21, is charged with her murder.

Around 5:40 a.m. Sunday, Smith County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 8700 block of County Road 384 for reports of a person with a gunshot wound. Cruz, who was 21, was found lying on the floor and was deceased from a gunshot wound

Officials confirmed the suspect, Marin, had fled from the scene in a truck and wrecked out at the intersection of East Commerce St. and McMurrey St, nearly two miles away from the shooting scene, and fled on foot. Later in the day, they were able to speak to him on the phone and he agreed to meet him at a relative’s home in Tyler. Deputies took him into custody and took him to the sheriff’s office for questioning.

Detectives went to the home of Cruz and Marin on CR 384 to speak neighbors. They were told that they heard three to four gunshots in the early hours of the morning, around 2:30.

According to the warrant, a relative of Marin’s said that she was at a home in Tyler with her mother early Sunday morning. While she was there, Marin came into the house with blood on his hands. She said that Marin told them he and the victim, Cruz, were fighting over a gun when she allegedly shot herself. He also said that “he did not mean to do it.”

However, detectives at the scene said that due to the way the gun was situated and the location of the gunshot wound to Cruz, it is unlikely that it was a self-inflicted gunshot, the warrant says.

When Marin spoke with the detective, he said that he had been outside with his next door neighbor with his gun, a Smith & Wesson SD40. Marin said there were no more rounds in the gun when he took it back from his neighbor. Then, he said he went in the house.

When he got inside, according to the affidavit, Cruz was upset with him for not coming home to eat. He said she had packed up his belongings and wanted him to leave. During the interview, he also said that Cruz had packed her own bags and was going to leave. He said he was upset that she might leave him so he put three rounds in the gun and told her he was going to kill himself.

He said he took his shirt off, then put the gun in his pocket and grabbed a rifle and put it into his truck. He went back into the house and said that Cruz took the handgun from his pocket and put it to her own head, saying she would kill herself. He said that he tried to pull the gun away from her but he got tangled in his shirt. He claimed they were both standing when the gun discharged during a struggle. However, the investigator said that evidence does not indicate that she was standing when she was shot. It also shows that she was not shot from close proximity, as he claimed, the affidavit said.

Due to the inconsistencies in Marin’s retelling of the incident, such as the change in whose bags he said were packed and the change in his being in a shirt during the struggle when he said he had already removed it, the detective asked him further questions about those things. He was unable to explain the discrepancies, the affidavit said.

He also denied telling his relative in Tyler that he did not mean to do it.

During his interview with detectives, the affidavit says Marin was stammering and nervous, and crossed his arms. They said he showed no signs of remorse or concern toward Cruz. He did not seek help for her after she was shot, they say.

After the interviews it was determined that there was probable cause for the arrest of Marin for the offense of Murder.

He is in the Smith County Jail. He is being held on a $500,000 surety bond.

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