Family of Naples murder victim shed light on high-profile crime
NAPLES (WGME) – The family of a Naples man is shedding new light on the high-profile crime that left him dead back in November.
Police say Richard Diekema was killed by Norman Strobel, after he drove Strobel to carry out a shooting in Casco.
Richard Diekema made headlines because of his connection to an act of domestic violence, but his family remembers him for much different reasons.
Diekema was murdered in November, his death one piece of a complicated puzzle that involved two crime scenes.
Police say Diekema drove another man, Norman Strobel, to Casco, where Strobel fired shots at his ex-girlfriend's daughter and her boyfriend, and then the two drove back to Diekema's Naples home.
They say that's where Strobel shot Diekema in the head, before Strobel was killed in a shootout with police.
Tiffany Diekema-Burt says her dad was on the way home from celebrating his 55th birthday in April, when he got an OUI and a choice, 72 hours’ community service, or two days in jail. It was a decision that would seal his fate.
“And as it turned out, Norman was his cell mate when he went in for his 48 hours,” Burt said.
That was in September. Strobel was doing time in the Cumberland County Jail for violating a protection from abuse order taken out by his ex-girlfriend.
“I don't know how Norman got his phone number, if they had exchanged information, but I do know he was in contact with him a lot,” Burt said.
Strobel had a long criminal history and violated that restraining order again, landing him back in jail. With good behavior, he would be released early on November 19.
“About two weeks before Norman was let out of jail is when dad really started panicking,” Burt said.
Burt says her dad avoided his own home, afraid Strobel would show up, and according to neighbors, that's exactly what he did.
Court documents reveal Strobel planned to stay at a Portland homeless shelter, but never signed in, also failing to check in with his probation officer.
Burt says Strobel stayed with her dad that week, even taking over his bedroom.
State police say their investigation into the murder is complete, but with both men dead, they'll never know what role Diekema played in the Casco shooting, whether he was forced to drive or went willingly.
In fact, Burt and her family think he may have been dead before the trip to Casco. For one, Burt says, her dad's driver's license was suspended and his keys weren't on him when his body was found sitting in his recliner.
“We found them in dad's house in Norman's sweatshirt, with a serrated steak knife. you know it was just this bizarre stuff,” Burt said.
She hopes others like Strobel can be stopped earlier. Legislation proposed this session would crack down on domestic violence offenders, making the third violation of a protection order a felony. Burt testified in March.
“He was against so many things like domestic violence and stuff like that, that anything I can do to help in his name, I'll continue to do,” Burt said.
She knows closure may never come, instead, she's filling in the blanks with memories of the man who loved hunting and working as a mechanic.
“His hands were always covered in motor oil and grease, and I will forever, you know, that smell, it's my dad,” Burt said.
While the state police and Cumberland County investigations are complete, the Attorney General's Office is still reviewing the use of deadly force by deputies in Strobel's death.