General Crime

Richard Gutierrez Salinas man sentenced to 26 years to life in prison in the stabbing death of Victor Sosa

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A 23-year-old Salinas man has been sentenced to 26 years to life in prison in the stabbing death of a store security guard in Salinas in 2013, Monterey County prosecutors announced today. A judge in Monterey County Superior Court in Salinas today sentenced Richard Gutierrez, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Oct. 1 after agreeing to waive his right to appeal his conviction, Deputy District Attorney Rolando Mazariegos said.

On August 1, 2013, at 5:12 p.m., Gutierrez entered the 99 Cent Store on Laurel Drive in Salinas, confronted 57-year-old Victor Sosa, a store security guard, and stabbed Sosa repeatedly while customers in the store threw canned goods at the assailant to try to get him to stop, Mazariegos said. Gutierrez, who took off his shirt and “made a display of himself” to people at the store, fled the business but was captured seconds later by Salinas police, who reported seeing the guard’s blood smeared on the suspect, the prosecutor said.

Sosa died from the stab wounds a short time later, Mazariegos said. The defendant accepted a plea deal of 26 years to life to avoid additional special circumstances charges that might have resulted in a sentence of life without the possibility of parole or the death penalty, he said.

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