Jacob Diar liked to sleep in
the same rom as his mother, he was afraid to sleep in his own bed and
he always slept in just a t-shirt. It's not evident why this child
found safety in his mother's room because she was never someone who
thought much of being a mother. Nicole Diar preferred to party and
would hire teen aged girls to baby sit Jacob while she went out and had
a good time.
Nicole was a burn victim who at the age of four had suffered terrible
burns that left permanent scars when her pajamas caught on fire. Over
the next 14 years, Nicole had 61 operations in an attempt to get rid of
the scars and take care of the burned areas. As a result of the burns,
Nicole was receiving monthly payments of $3,000. as well as receiving a
lump some of money on a periodic basis.
Nicole lived in an apartment with her son, they lived in the same
complex as her sister, Rebecca Diar and Rebecca's daughter, Taylor
Diar. In the year 2003, Luis Agosto, who was only 14 years old, often
baby sat for Nicole and he was asked to give Jacob medication from a
bottle that Nicole and Rebecca told him was for hyperactivity. Luis did
what he was asked to do, though he never paid attention to the name of
the medication or who it was prescribed to. On one occasion, Luis had
two friends over, Jacob was given the medication and began to vomit.
One of the friends read the label and learned that the medication was
Tylenol 3 and contained Codeine and that the medication had been
prescribed for Taylor. When Nicole returned home, Luis told her what
had happened and Nicole said it was not a big deal and that Jacob would
Another baby sitter, Destiny Faulkner, was asked on three different
occasions to give Jacob the medication. On two of those occasions,
Destiny gave him the medication but on the third, she decided not to
since he didn't seem sick to her. On July 1st of that year, Nicole
moved into a house that she had rented, in Lorain, Ohio. The owner of
the home had just renovated the entire house and had installed a
new smoke detector, even taking time to be sure that it worked and had
fresh batteries, he did the same for all of the other smoke detectors
in the home.
In August of 2003, firefighters were called to their home and
there was what was described as a black plume of smoke on that sunny
Summer day. Lifecare EMT Pricilla Bidlake responded to the fire. Nicole
told her that when she woke up, she saw heavy, black smoke all around
her and she called out for Jacob and when she didn't see him, she went
looking for him. When she didn't find him, Nicole claims she was forced
out of her home by the smoke. Oddly, it was noted that Nicole's
clothing was clean and she didn't smell like smoke at all and she
didn't have any soot or other indications that she had been in a
burning home that was filled with black smoke.
Nicole said that she had given Jacob a bath the night before and that
she had put a hooded sweatshirt on him that belonged to her. When
Jacob's body was found, he was in his own bed, still wearing the
sweatshirt she said she had put on him as well as a t-shirt and long
jeans and the bathtub was still full of the water she claimed to have
bathed him in:
"He was heavily
charred. At first glance I didn't even realize there was a child there"
Fire Chief Anthony Cuevas
Anthony went on to say that they had only found Jacob after the fire
had been completely put out. An autopsy was done to figure out what had
killed Jacob and the only good part about this was that he had been
dead when the fire started. An exact cause of death could not be
determined since his body was badly burned, but Dr. Paul Matus, the
Coroner said that he had died of homicidal violence. It was said that
since Jacob had no soot or any other kind of debris associated with a
fire, he had not died as a result of the fire. The State Fire Marhsal
Forensic Lab had found that the clothing he was wearing as well as the
matters pad that he had been sleeping on, tested positive for gasoline.
Displaying behavior that would make Casey Anthony proud and maybe a
little jealous, Nicole was seen the day before Jacob's funeral riding
in a limousine, driven by her brother. Nicole stuck her head out the
window and yelled at him:
"I want liquor, don't
forget the liquor"
The evening after Jacob's funeral, Nicole was out drinking, singing
karaoke and line dancing and that same night, she went to the bowling
alley and was having a great time and again, she was drinking. Just one
week after Jacob's death, Nicole wouldn't pass out fliers meant to help
find the person who killed her son and she refused to go to a candle
light vigil in his memory. Nicole must have felt pretty confident at
that point, that she had successfully managed to rid herself of a child
who was holding her back the life style she wanted.
Police questioned Nicole and she told them about having given Jacob a
bath the night before the fire, saying that they had both fallen asleep
in the living room. Nicole said that Jacob woke up at about 4:30 a.m.
and asked for juice and then he went back to sleep in the living room
with is dog. At about 8:50 a.m. she says she woke up to the black smoke
and called for Jacob and when he didn't answer she went outside and
screamed for someone to call 911 and then she says she tried to go back
into the house and save her son, but the smoke stopped her. Nicole told
Police that she believed Jacob accidentally set the house on fire and
that there was no gas in the house. Investigators told her that Jacob
was dead before the fire started and she cried:
"I didn't harm my son.
He was my life"
Police offered her an out by suggesting that maybe he had died by
accident in the tub, the night before and she said that was not what
happened and she said she didn't start the fire to cover up the death
of her son. In 2004, Nicole was arrested and charged with aggravated
murder in the death of Jacob. Later, neighbors would testify that they
felt Jacob had been a victim of child neglect, but none of them ever
made an attempt to help him by calling Child Protective Services.
In addition to the other baby sitters, there was one who said that
would call his school and pretend to be his mother so that he could get
out of school and baby sit for her, he also said that she often didn't
come home until 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. and that baby sitters were paid in
cigarettes. Prosecutors said in court t that Jacob was a child that
Nicole didn't want because he held her back from partying.
The defense brought witnesses to say that Nicole was a good mother.
Rebecca's said that Nicole had been excited when she learned that she
was pregnant and after she found out her son was dead, she was
depressed and in shock. It was said that Nicole had not handed out
flyers because her lawyer said she shouldn't since she was considered a
suspect in his death. The Pastor at Jacob's funeral, Guy Morton, said
that Nicole was behaving just the way someone who has just lost a loved
one would and Darrell Ederhardt, a friend, said that Nicole and Jacob
had a loving relationship and he knew that Nicole was grieving.
A Medical Social Worker who ran what are called "Burn Camps", Linda
Powers, said that Nicole had been to the camps and participated in
activities until she reached the age of 19. Linda said that Nicole
loved Jacob and her she was a very caring and nurturing mother.
Prosecutors said that Nicole set the fire to cover up the death of her
"On that day, on that
hot, August day, Jacob Diar met his death. He met his death at the hands
Prosecutor - Mike Nolan
Throughout her trial, Nicole showed very little interest and even
yawned at times while Mike Nolan spoke:
"She's been an absentee
mother and now she doesn't have to be a mother at all because the
is dead. Mercifully, we anticipate the evidence to show that Jacob was
already dead by
time the fire engulfed his body. This case only partially began on
August 27, 2003. It really
on a day in 1979 when she was lit on fire"
Mike Nolan was referring to the incident when Nicole's brother was
playing with matches and caught her pajamas on fire by accident and he
said that while she had been a burn victim and was recovering, she
received a lot of attention, attended burn camps and leaned as much as
she could about fires:
"She became a person
who had a great deal of knowledge about fires, good and bad"
Mike Nolan said that Nicole had planned to rid herself of Jacob who had
become nothing more than a burden to her and that was why she had so
many baby sitters available to her::
"As he was getting
older, he required more attention. He was clingy to his mother and she
children with the duties of taking care of Jacob"
Jack Bradley, Nicole's lawyer said that Nicole had suffered scarring
over about 22% of her body and had been called "Freddy Krueger" all of
her young life and she thought she was never going to be able to have
children. When she found out she was pregnant it was a happy time for
her and when Jacob was born, she started referring to him as her
Mike Nolan was not convinced that Nicole cared about Jacob any more:
"She once referred to
him as her miracle baby. Well, that miracle baby became an albatross
Pricilla Bidlake once again stated that she and six Firefighters had
noticed that Nicole's clothing was clean of soot and other debris that
would have been present had she actually been inside with all of the
smoke, her hair had not been burned and she didn't smell like smoke,
there was no indication to any of them that she had been any where near
a fire or the smoke.
Jack Bradley said that she had been examined many hours later at the
hospital and that documents said she smelled like smoke. Assistant
County Prosecutor, Tony Cillo, said that since she is a smoker, that
could have been the smoke they were smelling on her. Mike Nolan brought
up the fact that Nicole didn't seem upset at all while she attended the
funeral that was held for Jacob and that she had partied that very
night and had a great time. Lt. Mark Nunez had tears in his eyes while
he was being questioned about finding Jacob's body. Jack Bradley asked:
"You said that no two
fries are the same. Is it also fair to say that no two people react the
Jack Bradley also tried to shift the blame to some of Nicole's friends:
"Nicole Diar had a lot
of friends. She did have money and some of those people she hung around
the best people in the world. Some used drugs, some had criminal
records. Some of these
need to be looked at a little more carefully"
It was also pointed out that there had been a fire in that very home in
May, before Nicole had even moved him. The landlord testified that an
unattached garage had been intentionally set on fire, without an
accelerant and that no one had ever been arrested for that fire. Nicole
and Jack Bradley continued to say she was innocent and that due to her
own child- hood trauma with fire, she would not have been able to set a
fire at all. The jury didn't agree.
In October of 2005, and jury deliberated for about three hours and then
found Nicole Diar, who was 30 years old at the time, guilty of
ten different charges including aggravated murder, arson and tampering
with evidence. It was alleged that Nicole had drugged Jacob with the
Codeine medication and then strangled him while he slept and then
doused the home with gasoline in an attempt to cover up what she had
done. Nicole was facing the death penalty.
A one day trial was going to be held in order to determine if there
were aggravating circumstances in the death of Jacob which would cause
the jury to sentence her to death, this was the same jury that had
found her guilty. The Defense called two witnesses that day. Dr. Sandra
McPherson who said that Nicole had suffered extensive psychological
trauma as a child and it had caused her to be unable to distinguish
between reality and illusion:
"She was handicapped
from the time she was scarred"
Dr. McPherson added that Nicole was suffering from a personality
disorder and was in denial about how things had taken place in he life:
mechanisms are acceptable at the time of the trauma, but not after"
Marilyn Diar, Nicole's mother was also called to the stand and she
asked that her life be saved:
"We love our daughter
very, very much"
Nicole was seen crying at times, during the day, but she mostly just
stared ahead, looking at the floor. Funny how she had no tears for her
son, but now that her own life was on the line, she had plenty of
them. Defense Attorney, John Pyle, used religion to try to get
the jury to spare Nicole's life:
"We have the right to
protect ourselves. But I also believe that when we can extend mercy, we
do it because kindness begets kindness and mercy begets mercy"
When I read that for the first time, I couldn't believe he said it.
Where was Nicole's kindness towards Jacob she drugged him, strangled
him and then set him on fire? Where was her mercy, WHEN
did she show mercy to this
little Angel who only wanted her to love him? Michael Nolan said this:
"Did Nicole Diar show
mercy to Jacob? Did she show kindness to Jacob? Absolutely not. No
kindness. He is dead at your hands, Nicole Diar"
Nicole told the Judge, the
jury and the entire courtroom her reason for not appearing sorry for
"I didn't kill my son.
I couldn't show remorse for something I didn't do"
In 2005, Nicole was sentenced to death.
In December of 2008, Nicole was back on court to hear about a reversal
of her death sentence due to an error when the jury was not told that
even one vote could have kept her off death row. The Supreme Court
upheld her conviction of aggravated murder, but the death penalty was
taken away. The County Prosecutor said:
"The proper instruction
was not given by the court and we conceded it. We will set up a new
hearing and we will go from there"
At that time, it was unclear if the same jury could or would be brought
back for a new sentencing and it was still a possibility that Nicole
could receive the death penalty for a second time.
In June of 2010, Nicole's parents, Ed and Marilyn Diar, sat in the back
of the courtroom as they listened to the verdict where their daughter's
life, unlike that of their grandchild, would be spared. Nicole's
parents had never believe that she had anything to with Jacob's death.
Nicole, who was 34 years old by this time, was not going back to trial
since she was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of
parole. Kreig Brusnahan, one of Nicole's lawyers said that since she
was not going to spend life in prison, she would be transferred to the
general population of the prison rather then be in solitary
confinement. The Prosecution and Defense agreed with the sentence:
"It's a difficult day
for Ms. Diar and her family, but given the choices we had, life without
a better choice than the possibility of facing the death penalty"
were attempting to ensure an outcome that held her to the highest level
A jury member from the original trial was not so convinced:
"There was sufficient
evidence presented to use that we all came to the conclusion that she
the death penalty. I think that as the original jury, we were right the
first time. The
that she medicated her kid just so she could go out and party, that
really bothered us"
Dennis Will said that a new trial would have presented the problem of
not being able to present all of the evidence about her drugging Jacob,
to a new jury. The lead Detective in the case had been Dave Garcia and
he said it had been a very difficult case for all involved:
"It was a diabolical,
heinous act of violence against an innocent child. I certainly believe
Dave said that he was glad that the case had come to an end and that in
process, Nicole had given up most of her rights to file any appeals as
part of her sentencing agreement.
Jacob Trevor Diar, 4, Loved all things and was loved by many
Trevor Diar, "Bubby", age 4, of Lorain, died Wednesday, August 27, 2003
following a fatal house fire.
was born on January 18, 1999 in Amherst, Ohio, where he lived until
moving to Lorain with his mother, Nicole Diar, less than a year ago.
child so full of life, he loved all things and was loved by so many.
is survived by his mother, Nicole Diar, father, Robert Serrano of
Lorain, half brothers, Lorenzo, Robert, and Michael Serrano, half
sister, Destiny Serrano, maternal grandparents Marilyn and Edward Diar
of Amherst, paternal grandmother Reyna Figueroa of Lorain, uncles Chad
Diar and Brett Diar, both of Amherst, aunts Rebecca Diar of Lorain,
Jennifer Sanabria of Lorain, and Jessica Serrano of New York, cousin,
Taylor Diar of Lorain, and great grandmother Arbell Mikulski of Amherst.
was preceded in death by his great grandfather Stan Mikulski.
may call Saturday, August 30, 2003 from 12:30 - 2:30 p.m. at the
Dombrowski-Volak-Riddle Funeral Home, 1939 Oberlin Avenue, Lorain, Ohio.
services will be held at Ridge Hill Memorial Park in Amherst
immediately following the visitation. Friends may also be received at
the family home, 7873 Baumhart Road, Amherst following the services.
may be made to the Jacob Diar Memorial Fund, c/o the funeral home.
page was created on June 30, 2014
I wish I could write
the obituaries for these little Angel. NO
ONE who was responsible for their deaths should EVER be listed as one of the people
occurred in the state of Ohio