Two men charged for January midtown murder in Tuscon

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TUSCON, AZ – Police in Tuscon have arrested two men accused of murdering Luis Diaz in Midtown Tuscon in January.

Through several interviews and evidence collected at the scene, police here said the department’s  Violent Crimes Unit established probable cause to arrest 46-year-old Eric Damaja Batain and 38-year-old Cedric Lee Christopher for their involvement in the murder of Luis Diaz.

On December 9, 2020, officers from Operations Division East/Community Response Team helped locate Mr. Batain near E. Broadway Blvd. and S. Camino Seco. An arrest warrant was served with the assistance of Tucson SWAT. On December 10, 2020, officers from Operations Division West /Community Response Team subsequently arrested Mr. Christopher during a traffic stop near N. Stone Ave. and W. Elm Street.

Mr. Batain and Mr. Christopher were each booked into Pima County Jail for one count of First Degree Murder. Additional details will be released as they become available.

On January 25, 2020, just after 2:00 a.m., 911 communications received multiple calls in reference to a vehicle fire in the 3400 block of E. 34th St. Officers from Operations Division Midtown and Tucson Fire personnel were dispatched to the scene. Upon arrival, a passenger vehicle was found fully engulfed. The fire was quickly extinguished and Tucson Fire notified police that they had located a deceased person in the vehicle. Detectives with the Tucson Police Violent Crimes Section responded to continue the investigation.

The investigation was initially classified as a suspicious death. On the morning of January 26, 2020, the deceased male was positively identified.