A 22-year-old Santa Maria man was found guilty of second-degree murder Tuesday, a day after jurors went into deliberations.
Moses Gutierrez, 22, was convicted of stabbing 42-year-old Alex Anzures four times during an altercation at a Santa Maria house party on May 15, 2011, according to Deputy District Attorney Paul Greco.
“He basically approached the victim and stabbed him in the heart,” Greco said Tuesday after the verdict was read in Superior Court in Santa Maria.
Jurors heard two weeks of testimony and evidence before coming to their decision.
Greco said the jury had the choice to convict Gutierrez of first-degree murder, which would be premeditated, or second-degree murder, which would not have been planned.
The jury chose the latter, which means Gutierrez faces 16 years to life in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 15.
Greco said the disagreement might have escalated after the victim said something derogatory to Gutierrez’s stepsister, but no one will ever be sure because Anzures and Gutierrez were the only witnesses.
“We’re just thankful that the jury took the time to sit and listen to the case,” Greco said. “We are happy with the result.”
— Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.