JERSEY CITY, N.J. — A New Jersey man has admitted he smoked marijuana and drank before tossing lit matches in an apartment that sparked a fire which killed an infant and damaged dozens of buildings.

Twenty-one-year-old Edwin Diaz on Wednesday pleaded guilty to reckless manslaughter.

Diaz said he was in the Union City apartment with the father of 1-year-old Eddie Gonzalez Jr. in March and they were lighting matches and tossing them on a cousin who was sleeping on a couch. The cousin would wake and flick the matches away.

Diaz says he and the child’s father were smoking marijuana in a bathroom when the fire broke out.

The child died. His father, Eddie Gonzalez Sr., sustained burns.

Under terms of a plea agreement, Diaz will testify against the father. He’s charged with manslaughter.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.