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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Note found at homicide of Port Salerno woman: ‘I gave into the devil tonight’

NewsNote found at homicide of Port Salerno woman: 'I gave into the devil tonight'

MARTIN COUNTY — New details on the timeline of events leading to a woman’s death inside the Port Salerno residence she shared with her adult son emerged this week from court and sheriff’s documents.

Daniel Pouncey, 34, faces a charge of second-degree murder in the death of his mother, Christina Diorio, 58. Pouncey was in the home in the 5400 block of Railway Avenue, with blood on his hands when his neighbors and deputies found Diorio’s body, said sheriff’s Sgt. Dan DuLac.

DuLac said Pouncey, a U.S. Army veteran, had been diagnosed with PTSD and had been taken into custody under the Baker Act in the past. The Baker Act permits people with mental illness to be held, voluntarily or involuntarily, in a mental health facility for up to 72 hours.

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Pouncey had his first appearance in court Tuesday. Assistant Public Defender John Hetherington was assigned to the case Wednesday. A prosecutor isn’t listed on court dockets.

According to the arrest affidavit, detectives said they found blood on the Port Salerno home’s porch, on the screen porch door latch and inside of the door, and on the glass portion of the entrance.

In the second bedroom of the home they found what they said they believed to be Pouncey’s wallet and an open notebook on top of a chair with a note written in ink. The note read: “soo I gave into the Devil Tonight!! Apparently. I’ve tried to love but it seems love is dead and people just got (expletive) instead. No rhyme or reason!! I love you, but I have become accustomed to the hell this world is … I belong. I’m sorry.”

The records show what led to Diorio’s body being found:

A neighbor received a text from Diorio that said “I need ur help” at 11:14 p.m. Friday night, but did not see the text message until the morning.

She told investigators she heard a male voice arguing next door Friday night.

After trying to reach Diorio over the phone Saturday morning, the neighbor entered the house with a spare key she had and found her dead.

Diorio was covered with a blanket and part of her face was “bloody and messed up,” the neighbor told detectives.

The neighbor’s husband came into the house as well, to check on his wife, and they both saw Pouncey standing at the doorway of the bedroom where his mother was found.

The woman went outside and called 911.

The medical examiner has determined Diorio died of blunt force trauma, sheriff’s officials said. 

There was no evidence of forced entry to the house, damaged locks or broken windows, investigators noted.

Detectives determined there was probable cause to believe that on or between Dec. 30 and Dec. 31, Pouncey used a blunt object to cause multiple blunt impact injuries to Diorio and cause her death, according to the arrest affidavit.

Wednesday, one of Diorio’s neighbors on Railway Avenue said they knew Diorio for three or four years and commended her.

“She was a very nice lady. Everybody seemed to like her,” said Mac McClelland. “(This) was a tragedy.”

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