Boxing Trainer Heading to Trial

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Adam White

    A North County trainer pleaded not guilty Thursday for allegedly killing a fellow boxing trainer.

    Mark Anthony Diaz, 50, will stand trial Jan. 11. He’s charged with murder, attempted murder, assault with a firearm and making a threat.

    For years, Hector Gil, 52, volunteered as a trainer to try and keep teenagers off the streets. But on April 7, he was killed at that same gym.

    Boxer Ricky Gutierrez had just finished a night of training at Pacific Coast Boxing in Vista when he suddenly saw a gun.

    “It was pointing at me already. The hand was ready, aiming at me,” Gutierrez said.

    Several shots were fired that night.

    Gutierrez was shot in the leg and when he turned around he saw that Gil, his trainer, had also been shot.

    “I saw Hector, breathing, bleeding,” Gutierrez said.

    Moments later, Gil died.

    Prosecutors say the shooter was Gutierrez’ former trainer, Diaz, who allegedly got jealous when Gutierrez became a professional boxer and decided to train with Gil instead.

    Months before the shooting, the suspect made so many threats that a restraining order was filed to keep him away from the gym.

    “Telling him he was going to go rough him up if he didn’t go to the gym and settle some problems they had going,” said Gutierrez.

    Hector Gil Junior was there when his father was shot.

    “Started screaming, ‘call 911, call 911’,” Gil Junior said.

    Prosecutors say he saw the suspect wearing a key piece of evidence.

    “I saw a guy with a black sweatshirt with a T on the back,” Gil Junior said.

    Investigators recovered a sweatshirt matching the same description when they searched the suspect's home in Carlsbad.

    Diaz faces 75 years to life in prison if convicted.