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Update: Homicide Reported at Duluth-Area…

Slaying Suspect Granted Bond, Released

Phillip Sailors, who is charged with murder, was released Wednesday afternoon.

Phillip Sailors, of Lilburn, is charged with murder. (Credit: Gwinnett County Detention Center)
Phillip Sailors, of Lilburn, is charged with murder. (Credit: Gwinnett County Detention Center)
(Editor's Note: This article was first published January 31, 2013.)

Phillip Sailors, the Lilburn resident accused of shooting and killing a young man who pulled into his driveway, is out of jail after posting bail Wednesday.

According to jail records, Sailors bonded out of the Gwinnett County Detention Center at 3:34 p.m. Jan. 30. A judged granted Sailors a $10,000 bond Wednesday afternoon, according to defense attorney Michael Puglise.

Sailors, 69, is charged with murder in the death of Rodrigo Diaz, who is identified as a 22-year-old Duluth man in police reports.

On Saturday evening, Diaz and three friends pulled into Sailors' driveway on Hillcrest Road in Lilburn. The car's GPS took the friends to the wrong house, according to Diaz's family.

Sailors' attorney said that his client thought he and his wife were about to become victims of a home invasion or assault when he fired the fatal shot.

After Diaz died from his injuries the following morning, Lilburn Police arrested and charged Sailors with murder.

It is the first homicide in the city since 2005.

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David Womack January 31, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Let the truth shine and justice prevail!
David Womack January 31, 2013 at 12:41 AM
If Diaz only had a gun, he could have protected himself from the likes of Mr. Sailors!
Don January 31, 2013 at 01:19 AM
They should execute this piece of trash. Finest example of human garbage i have ever seen.
John Henderson January 31, 2013 at 03:13 AM
Only a 10,000 dollar bond.? You can tell already that justice will not be served fairly in Gwinett County.
John Henderson January 31, 2013 at 03:27 AM
Danny Porter must be up for re election in 2013 to approve such a ridiculous low bond on a murder charge. With the changing demographics changing in Gwinett County he has appeased his core voter base with this action.
bob January 31, 2013 at 03:40 AM
Go to bed John Henderson.. You are such an idiot!! Please put us out of your misery! I am hopeful you never serve jury duty. Or bètter yet, let me be chosen to serve when YOU are on trial!
linda January 31, 2013 at 03:43 AM
Don I agree with you 100% he's human GARBAGE !!
1Freedom January 31, 2013 at 07:02 AM
I'll give just about anything to see Mr.Sailors Grandchildren, or anyone that supports this man's actions from Saturday night...to have the same scenario but they were the victim...let's just say Mr.Sailors was a lost old man in my neighborhood...and I shot him in plain darkness because I was protecting my home, you all would turn against me...but since this victim is a minority it has to be Self Defense he is a perfect human being with no error of making any mistake...could there be reasonable doubt?...this is America 2013 !!!
David Womack January 31, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Have to agree with you, it's likely that after 69 years Mr. Sailors has made a mistake, over reacted and now will owe a debt to society and a family. People just go to extremes, :"it must be Diaz, that sounds mexican!" or "that Sailors' is some grumpy old racist cold blooded murderer" or "this is why no one should have a gun" I'm just sick of it. The truth is always somewhere in the middle.
Gill Daniels January 31, 2013 at 02:16 PM
I just wonder how peoples will act when our irac iran afganny soldiers all get to this place in time. For the record...more troops are dying from suicide then in combat. Look it up you doubters. This just another example of what war can and will do to persons who participate. Instead of condeming this old vet ad trash..loon etc. Why dont we help them? This problem is going to increase over time. It already had started. Vets need serious debriefing and a lot of it. Maybe if the public hadnt labeled nam vets as baby killers and spat on them we wouldnt have this now? Who knows. Guns dont kill people. People do. Less than 4% of murders and killings are done with guns. 23% are committed with clubs and hammers. Govt facts. We need to take a hard look at putting our citizens in harms way period. Talk to a vet. God bless America.
Gill Daniels January 31, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Don and Linda; Do you know this man personally? Or well enough to label him as "trash" or "human garbage?". I will guess the answer is no. He deserves a little better treatment then that. I do not condone his actions...heck..given the circumstances as i understand them, I might have done same thing. Doesnt make it right and on same note doesnt make a combat vet a piece of trash either. Have some compassion..the death of any young person is sad as well as the codemnation of the innocent. Unless our latest leader in white house has changed the law...we are ALL innocent until proven guilty. Please take the time to talk to a vet. I think it...no i know it will help you begin to understand. Make God have mercy on mr Diazs soul and family.
the truth January 31, 2013 at 03:12 PM
The law presumes a person innocent until proven guilty. People who jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts are ignorant. Hold on to your hate and don't rush to judgment.
the truth January 31, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Bond is given based on whether the person is a threat to himself or others and whether they are a flight risk. It is not based on how guilty a person is or John Henderson's opinion of "justice".
the truth January 31, 2013 at 03:40 PM
Why don't you wait for the facts before you execute someone. I had hoped the days of the lynch mob mentality were over.
Mike Diaz January 31, 2013 at 04:39 PM
I had the pleasure to meet Rodrigo and he was a good kid with a great future ahead of him, but somehow he pulled in the wrong driveway and an old evil man trying to be a hero ended with his life, I still can't believe it, I hope that Mr. Evil gets convicted and dies in prison, who knows how many people the jury will be saving by sending this crazy man into prison forever.
NVicens January 31, 2013 at 06:14 PM
I knew this wonderful young man, a very respectful, good and honest kid. I understand defending your family if someone walks into your house with a gun or some kind of weapon and you shoot. This kid was outside, driving away after he heard the first shot. Mr. Sailors accomplished his mission by shooting to the air, they got scared and left. No, but he had to shoot to the car. $10,000 bond???? A man got a bond of $15,000 after killing a puppy. Please read below Bond granted in puppy killing http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2011/aug/26/0827_animalcruelty/ Rodrigo Diaz's life is worth more than a puppy's life. Dear Judge, please: we want justice for an innocent man.
NVicens January 31, 2013 at 06:20 PM
Ignorants, please than is used only in comparisons, so if you're comparing something use than. If not, then you have to use then. What could be easier than that?
the truth January 31, 2013 at 07:45 PM
Read my earlier post. The amount of bond is not set by the value of someone's life or level of another's guilt. Do not assume what you have read about this case is fact.
Reid Inman January 31, 2013 at 09:25 PM
If they were looking for someone why didn’t they go to the door? Why were they running around the yard? Why I didn’t they just get in the car and leave? Where do you go ice skating at 11:00 at night? I suspect there is much more to this story.
Abelardo Casillas February 01, 2013 at 10:15 PM
The way I see it is: Diaz = Hispanic, that his only fault. Sailors "White"= Racist Judges = Racist Georgia full of RACISM today Don't call me as a Jury. Keep dreaming "Dr. King", Keep turning in your coffin "Cesar Chavez" (The Mexican American Californian activist for all the ones that do not know of him) I really sadden that this things happen even today.
David Womack February 02, 2013 at 02:14 AM
Not sure where you are going with this? Can you define racist? If you are unhappy with Georgia no one is keeping you here, you think it would be any different any where else? You think white people are welcome in many African countries? How about whites in many South American cities... Human are the same jerks to each other no matter where you go.
Nathan R February 03, 2013 at 05:06 AM
I have had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Sailors for over 10 years. He drives the bus for my high school and his wife taught me in kindergarten. I will not sit idly by and allow him to be profiled as racist, evil, or garbage; he is none of those. Mr. Sailors has participated in several mission trips to Latin American counties so racism claims should be completely disregarded. He is not evil as he is a devoted Christian who attends the same church as I on a weekly basis. He is also not garbage. I am appalled that some people jump to such strong and biased conclusions about people whom they do not even know. I never was able to meet Mr. Diaz like some of you, and he may very well have been a wonderful young man with great potential. However, I do not know him so I will not pass any judgement on him based on bigoted prejudice and bias as other commenters have done to a man who fought and suffered to protect their freedoms before they were even born. So I ask that unless you have something constructive to add to this story, please keep your libelous comments to yourselves.

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