A Sebastian County woman accused of trying to hire her handyman to kill her husband has pleaded not guilty to the charge of conspiracy to commit capital murder.
Mary Byers-Diaz, who was arraigned Wednesday morning, is scheduled to stand trial for her alleged Class A felony offense on March 2, 2020, in the Greenwood district of Sebastian County. Byers-Diaz allegedly tried to convince her handyman to kill her husband in exchange for payment, according to the probable cause affidavit for her arrest warrant.
Byers-Diaz remained in custody Wednesday in lieu of a $200,000 cash-only bond, according to the Prosecutor’s Office. A public defender has been appointed to Byers-Diaz in this case.
According to the affidavit, the handyman contacted law enforcement on Sept. 5 and agreed to wear an audio and video recording device to discuss the actions with Byers-Diaz.
"During that discussion, it was agreed that the handyman would stun the victim with a stun gun, break his neck, and then place him in a simulated car crash," the affidavit states, adding that the homicide was planned to take place either the evening of Sept. 6 or sometime that weekend.
"It was agreed that when the Defendant was able to coax her husband to come to the marital home, she would signal the handyman by calling him and talking about her dog, Abba. The handyman would then proceed to the home to commit the murder," the affidavit continues. Byers-Diaz when asked by the handyman if she was sure she wanted to go through with the plan said she was sure, the affidavit states.
Byers-Diaz was formally charged with conspiracy to commit capital murder on Monday, according to a Sebastian County Prosecutor's Office news release.
For his efforts, the handyman was awarded a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe and other property, the affidavit adds.
Byers-Diaz married Dr. Lawrence Diaz on May 21, 2016, according to a Times Record wedding announcement. A Times Record article from November 2016 stated Byers-Diaz was at the time a licensed therapist.
Byers-Diaz if found guilty will face six to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, according to Arkansas Law.