Convicted killer fails to uphold his end of plea bargain
(Albuquerque) Detective Michael Fox hardly seemed surprised. “I expected this, quite honestly.”
Fox was referring to what seemed to play out as a charade inside the confines of a locked jury room on the seventh floor of State District Court in Albuquerque Tuesday.
But there was no jury in that room. Just a handful of attorneys, police investigators, guards and a recently convicted killer who was expected to keep his word and disclose the location of his estranged wife’s body.
Girly Chew Hossencofft warned most anyone who would listen that her husband planned to kill her. She described how Diazien Hossencofft boasted that no one would ever find her body.
Ms. Hossencofft had already moved out of the couple’s home months earlier, restraining order in-hand.
She tried to keep the location of her new apartment a secret, only telling a select few. Her employer even tried to hide her by having the proficient teller report to work at another bank branch.
In her final months of life, the soft-spoken and petite Girly Chew Hossencofft signed-up for a martial arts class and requested that her instructor teach her how to defend herself against two attackers.
In her finals weeks of life, Girly Chew Hossencofft’s prayers to Kwan Yin, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, intensified.
In her final days of life, a fearful Girly Chew Hossencofft went to the FBI and pleaded for help.
She advised her coworkers to notify police if she ever failed to show up for work on time. She was never late for work.
Until September 10, 1999.
Her manager wasted no time and called police within a few minutes.
Girly Chew Hossencofft hasn’t been seen or heard from since.
Albuquerque Police Detectives Michael Fox and Pete Lescenski have been on the case from the beginning. After two years and four months, the possibility existed that the detectives were finally about to learn the precise location of Girly’s remains.
The trail had turned cold long ago.
The last sign of Girly Chew Hossencofft came the day she failed to show up for work. On that day, a highway worker discovered her blood stained panties and shirt with duct tape and a gray tarp (with a cream-colored rubberized undercoating) along a remote highway about 150-miles southwest of Albuquerque.
Now, in the locked jury room, the scheduled moment of truth. Diazien Hossencofft had been escorted from the nearby jail to wrap-up his end of a plea bargain.
Six days earlier, he pleaded guilty to Ms. Hossencofft’s murder and a dozen other charges.
In exchange for his plea, Mr. Hossencofft was sentenced to life in prison. The prosecution would no longer pursue the death penalty.
The State of New Mexico said it would also honor Mr. Hossencofft’s request to be transferred to a prison in Wyoming.
And, in a condition that was most important to investigators and the victim’s family, Diazien Hossencofft agreed to “make statements” about the murder, including the location of the body.
He agreed to do so within ten days. The terms of the plea bargain are detailed in a court document.
Mr. Hossencofft signed it.
Hossencofft, his attorneys, the prosecutor and police wasted no time in scheduling a date. January 15th at 1pm.
The place: The jury room. No media inside.
The meeting lasted about five minutes.
The police photographer patiently standing by in the hallway was told he could leave. He would not get the opportunity to put his video camera on a tripod, a microphone on Mr. Hossencofft, and details of a murder on record.
Vera Ockenfels, Mr. Hossencofft’s attorney, was among the first to emerge from the courtroom.
“He refused to give a statement,” Ockenfels explained. “He declined to give any information at this point. That’s all I have to say.”
Detective Fox was among those to exit the courtroom shortly after Ms. Ockenfels.
“This is kind of how this case has gone over the last two years,” Fox said. “So, nothing comes easy.”