Breaking News Alerts

Judge knocks 90 years off sentence, but murderer still must serve 141

A judge today knocked 90 years off the sentence for a convicted murderer from Turlock who has been known for her dramatic outbursts in Stanislaus County Superior Court.

Charlotte Gutierrez, 41, still will spend the rest of her life in prison, unless her conviction is overturned upon appeal. But her 141-year sentence is far less than the 231 years Judge Hurl Johnson imposed last month.

The judge said he followed recommendations submitted by the district attorney’s office when he sentenced Gutierrez and her husband, Edward Gutierrez, 39, who received 26 years to life in prison.

At that time, Johnson questioned Deputy District Attorney Sharon Lizardo. They were drowned out by Charlotte Gutierrez, who was removed from the courtroom when she started screaming at the victim’s widow sitting in the courtroom with family members.

It was a familiar scene, as Charlotte Gutierrez had moaned and sobbed while a clerk read the jury’s verdict, and she sniped at widow Elizabeth Negrete during a preliminary hearing, calling her a liar who protected a child molester.

The Gutierrezes believed their neighbor, Eduardo Negrete, had harmed their daughter, then 3, but the police were not able to substantiate abuse allegations.

The Gutierrezes were found guilty of first-degree murder and assault in the stabbing death of Eduardo Negrete. Edward Gutierrez chased Negrete into an enclosed patio and stabbed him 42 times, while Charlotte Gutierrez wielded a bat to fend off members of the Negrete family, who tried to intervene.

Charlotte Gutierrez received a stiffer sentence than her husband because she had two strikes on her record, for robbery and attempted robbery.

After the July 9 sentencing hearing, the judge hit the books and concluded that his sentence was out of line. He brought Charlotte Gutierrez back to set things straight.

This time, she sat quietly, conferred amiably with defense attorney Gary Smith and offered no resistance when a bailiff calmly led her from the courtroom.