Santa Fe, New Mexico. The prosecution is dropping its murder case against Zachary Gutierrez. On September 26, 64-year old Richard Milan, a resident of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was visiting his daughter in Santa Fe when he was shot in the leg while walking his small dog on Airport Road near Lucia Lane. He later died at the hospital.
On October 6th, police arrested Gutierrez, age 17, and charged him with an open count of murder and tampering with evidence. He has been held in juvenile detention ever since. One day before the case was headed to the grand jury, however, defense attorney Steve Aarons produced video recordings of eyewitnesses who confirmed that Gutierrez was an innocent bystander, not the shooter. At 8:20 am, Heather Smallwood, Senior Trial Attorney, sent an email to Aarons stating that she “wanted to give a heads up” that she is “filing a dismissal in this case today.”
We commend the prosecution, and Santa Fe Police Detectives, in reopening their investigation in light of new evidence. What is important now is to find the truth and prosecute the real shooter for this senseless murder. I was very happy to tell Zach and his family this morning that they are dropping the murder case against him.