The U.S. Supreme Court refused earlier this week to hear an appeal filed by a Brownsville, Texas, man accused of stabbing an 85-year-old woman to death. Ruben Gutierrez, 38, was 21 at the time of the capital murder.
Gutierrez was convicted of murdering Escolastica Harrison in 1999. The case was tried before Cameron County District Court Judge Benjamin Euresti, Jr. The evidence presented was that the woman was stabbed 13 times with two different screwdrivers. The elderly woman was also severely beaten. She managed the Harrison Mobile Home Park.
According to The Brownsville Herald, authorities said that Gutierrez befriended the woman because he planned to rob her of some of the $600,000 in cash she hid in her trailer home. He robbed her of $56,000. Harrison did not like banks so she kept the money in her home according to statements of law enforcement officers. Most of the money was later recovered.
Gutierrez argued no evidence linked him to her death and no evidence put him in her home at the time she of her murder. He admitted to helping plan the robbery but said someone else murdered the woman.
On appeal, Gutierrez asserted that he was denied his Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection. Gutierrez claims that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress his statements made to Brownsville law enforcement officers because the statements were coerced and involuntary.
Gutierrez awaits execution on death row at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Polunsky Unit in Livingston, Texas.
No date has been set for his execution.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and an associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.