Ex-boyfriend accused in Fort Mill slaying has long history of crime

scetrone@heraldonline.comJanuary 7, 2012 

— The man charged with killing his ex-girlfriend in her SUV on Thursday in Fort Mill has amassed a 22-year criminal record of assaults, drug and weapon arrests and charges of violence against women, law enforcement records show.

A Lancaster woman called police in February 2006 and said that James Enrico Diago grabbed her by the hair, choked her and threw her on the floor of the home they had once shared.

As the woman tried to dial 911, Diago "kicked in the door and grabbed her by the hair again," a Lancaster police report states.

A friend of the woman told police Diago also threw her on the ground, the report reads.

Diago was found guilty of domestic violence, assault and battery and resisting arrest. He was ordered to spend more than a month in jail or pay fines of $2,375.

Fewer than six years later, Diago, 38, is in jail charged with murder in connection with the Thursday morning slaying of Jackie Lashon Craine, a 34-year-old mother of three.

Diago also faces charges of attempted murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and possession of a handgun by a convicted felon.

Responding to a call about a shooting in a parking lot at the Avery Lake apartment complex just after 8 a.m., Fort Mill police found Craine in her sports utility vehicle. Her 16-year-old son, who also had been shot, was found nearby. Both were taken to Piedmont Medical Center, where the teen was treated for "non-life-threatening injuries," and Craine was pronounced dead.

Police found Diago leaving a wooded area near the shooting, Fort Mill Police Capt. Bryan Zachary said.

It's not clear where Diago lives. Arrest documents show addresses in Lancaster and Fort Mill.

Diago was first convicted of assault and battery in 1990 in Lancaster, when he was 17.

In the years since, his list of arrests and convictions has grown.

Diago's criminal record includes more than a dozen charges of assault and battery and a felony drug conviction. Documents show:

-In 1993, Diago was convicted of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, carrying a firearm where alcohol was sold and possession of crack cocaine. He was sentenced to six years.

-He was arrested in 1997 and charged with distribution of crack cocaine near a park and later convicted of distributing drugs. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

-Of a dozen assault and battery charges against Diago, at least one was dismissed.

-A 1997 criminal domestic violence charge was dismissed.

-In 2005, Diago was charged with possessing a stolen pistol. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, which he served on weekends, according to the state Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services.

Craine and Diago met about six years ago, according to her family. Diago is the father of Craine's 4-year-old daughter, the youngest of her three children. Craine, whom neighbors described as quiet and pleasant, was growing fearful of Diago, police records and interviews with family members indicate. She called police on him twice over the summer. In July, Craine told officers that Diago was visiting when they got into an argument. Craine said he snatched her cellphone.

The next month she told police she feared Diago was hiding somewhere in her house. He had been there earlier to visit, but left and didn't have a key, she said. Craine worried he had unlocked a door to let himself back in later.

Both times, reports show that Craine said she planned to file a restraining order against Diago.

Ruthie Holmes, Craine's cousin and godmother to her oldest son, said Craine told her that Diago had pulled a gun on her around Thanksgiving. It's not clear whether Craine reported that incident to police, but Holmes said she does not think Craine did. "She was worried that he was going to kill her," Holmes said.

Andrew Dys and Jamie Self contributed.

Shawn Cetrone 803-329-4072

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