Crime

Slaying suspect and alleged gang member, now 15, certified to stand trial as adult

A teen suspected of killing a young mother was told Wednesday that the community would be better served if he were tried in the adult criminal justice system rather than the juvenile system.

“I’m keenly concerned with the welfare of the public,” Family District Judge Alex Kim said.

Amareion King, now 15, has been implicated in the slaying of Yesenia Gutierrez, 31, who was home alone with her 3-year-old son in the family’s west Fort Worth apartment when she was killed.

Just after noon on May 18, 2018, burglars broke into the apartment and Gutierrez fought with one to keep him from entering the room where her young son was sleeping, according to one of her cousins.

Minutes later, she was killed when one of the burglars opened fire, the relative said.

King, a suspect in the capital murder, was 14 at the time of the shooting, according to the court. A 9 mm handgun was recovered during the investigation, Fort Worth police Detective Matt Barron said.

During an interview with another juvenile suspect in the case, who is 13 and not eligible for adult certification, Barron said he was told that the two suspects broke into Gutierrez’s apartment because they looked through a window and saw a gaming console inside.

But the only thing that investigators determined was taken during the robbery was the woman’s cell phone, Barron testified.

“He said he chunked the phone at a homeless person at a bus stop,” Barron testified. “He said they tried to get it unlocked but they couldn’t, so it was useless to them.”

Police records identified King as a member of a youth street gang, Barron said.

Officials with the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Gutierrez died from gunshot wounds to the head and neck. Her death was ruled a homicide.

Barron said the front door to Gutierrez’s apartment was kicked free from its hinges.

Officers responded to a shooting call shortly before 12:30 p.m. at the Manitoba Apartments in the 8200 block of Calmont Avenue, in west Fort Worth near Las Vegas Trail. They found Gutierrez’s body in the family’s dining room.

A native of Illinois, Gutierrez had been living in Texas with her husband and family. It was unclear where her husband or the other children were during the break-in.

Barron said surveillance video taken from a nearby convenience store captured one of the suspects wearing a blue hoodie. Barron said the two suspects implicated in the case each disposed of the clothing they wore on the day of the slaying.

The two teens were arrested after he obtained two capital murder arrest warrants, Barron said.

This story includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.

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Mitch Mitchell is an award-winning reporter covering courts and crime for the Star-Telegram. Additionally, Mitch’s past coverage on municipal government, healthcare and social services beats allow him to bring experience and context to the stories he writes.
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