Lincoln family disappointed after daughters murderer takes plea deal

An emotional moment in the court room Tuesday as the family of 21–year–old Dijah Ybarra had to hear the horrific details of the night she was fatally stabbed.

“It’s nothing you ever want to hear ever, of something that happened to your child in that kind of way. Never,” Dijah’s father, Juan Ybarra said.

Family and friends filled the court room to show their support of Dijah as her murderer, 22–year–old Neland Tavion Gray Jr., the father of Dijah’s children accepted a plea deal.

It reduced his 1st degree murder charge to 2nd degree if he pled no contest.

Dijah’s family was visibly distraught that Gray couldn’t even say the word guilty.

“The county attorney told us that he was going to come in and plead guilty but instead he came in and pled no contest. Not being able to man up to what he did to Dijah,” Dijah’s mother Shaylee Ybarra said. 

The family said this tragedy is what needs to spark change with domestic violence laws so no one else has to experience this kind of loss.

“We feel like there should be some changes in the laws involving domestic violence because the offenders basically get a slap on the hand,” Juan Ybarra said. 

Dijah leaves behind two young children that her parents now take care of.

Shaylee says she reminds them of Dijah every day and how much she loved them but said she fears the day she has to tell them what happened to their mother.

“That’s the hard part, that we have to face is that some day these boys are going to have to realize that this is their reality. This is something that their father did to their mother and I can’t even tell you how I’m going to do that but that’s going to be one of the hardest things of my life,” Shaylee Ybarra said.

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