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Santa Maria Man Gets Maximum Sentence for Murder

A 22-year-old Santa Maria man convicted of second-degree murder was sentenced Thursday to 16 years in prison, the maximum allowed for the crime.

Moses Gutierrez was convicted Oct. 16 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.

Santa Maria Superior Court Judge Edward Bullard imposed the sentence in a Santa Maria courtroom Thursday after numerous attempts made by Gutierrez to postpone and possibly file a motion for a new trial.

Jurors, who heard two weeks of testimony and evidence, had deliberated just one day before coming to their verdict.

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.

Gutierrez was given the maximum sentence for his conviction, serving 15 years for the murder charge and one year for using a knife while on probation, Greco said.

Gutierrez received two years concurrent time for illegal possession of a dagger while on probation during 2011, but that was not related to this murder, according to Greco.

“His attorney indicated he wanted to file a new trial motion,” Greco said Thursday. But “he had not filed one before today’s hearing. There’s substantial evidence of the defendant’s guilt in this case. We’re glad that we could bring the case to a close.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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