SAN FRANCISCO—On Thursday, August 23, SF District Attorney George Gascón revealed that Rickey Joseph Roberts, 60, of San Francisco was sentenced to 18 years to life for the second-degree murder of Olga Diaz-Clark, a 60-year-old San Francisco resident. Earlier this summer, a jury found Mr. Roberts guilty of second-degree murder and of making criminal threats against the victim. Ms. Diaz-Clark was an ex-girlfriend of Mr. Roberts at the time of her death.

“The defendant, over time, stripped Ms. Diaz-Clark of her right to live her life in peace,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “Domestic violence is not a crime that only occurs in the shadows; it’s visible and intervention is possible. If you’re living under constant threat, or know someone who is, please reach out. You’re not alone.”

According to a news release from the SFDA’s Office, court documents indicate on December 13, 2015, at approximately 5:00 a.m., Ms. Diaz-Clark was sleeping when the defendant entered her home and assaulted her. He punched her repeatedly in the face and head with closed fists while threatening to kill her. He used both hands to choke her, causing her to fall and lose consciousness.

When Ms. Diaz-Clark regained consciousness, she was lying on the floor of her apartment, and Roberts was gone. She went to the lobby of her apartment complex and asked the security guard to dial 911. She had visible injuries to her face and neck, and was in distress from the attack. The security guard relayed the details of the assault to the 911 operator as the victim described them to him, including that the victim was “choked-out” by Mr. Roberts.

At approximately 5:49 a.m., medical personnel and police officers arrived at the apartment. Diaz-Clark was crying and shaking, as she described how Roberts assaulted her and caused her to lose consciousness for several minutes. She stated that Roberts lived in the same apartment complex.

Officers approached the unit where Roberts lived and knocked on the door, where the defendant’s brother answered and gave the officers permission to enter. They found Roberts asleep on the couch and he was woken to be question by authorities. He was arrested and taken into custody.

Medical personnel determined that Diaz-Clark sustained a blow to the right side of her head, resulting in blood clotting, a depression behind her right ear, a cut to her lower lip, swelling of her right jaw, abrasions and redness on her throat; and was experiencing pain to the left side of her head and right side of her stomach. She was rushed to the hospital where she went into a coma. Doctors attempted to release pressure on her brain by surgical means, but were not successful. She went into a vegetative state and passed away on December 16, 2015, as a result of the assault.

Officers interviewed Roberts the day after the assault, where he denied causing the victim’s injuries. Roberts has a long history of assaulting, strangling, and threatening Diaz-Clark. Prior to the assault that led to her death, Roberts left the victim numerous voice messages throughout the month of November 2015, threatening to “hunt” her down and kill her. Diaz-Clark filed a restraining against the defendant a month before her death.

“Ms. Diaz-Clark suffered many years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of Rickey Roberts,” said Assistant District Attorney Sam Totah. “The victim’s family showed remarkable strength during the pendency of this case, and I commend them for working with our office to achieve justice for their loved one.”

“This successful prosecution is due to the excellent investigation by Sergeant Inspector David Almaguer of the SFPD’s Special Victims Unit and Sergeant Gary Watts of the SFPD’s Homicide Unit,” said the SFDA’s Office in a press release.

Written By Casey Jacobs