Nov 6, 2014
Oct 30, 2014
Oct 2, 2014
Sep 25, 2014
Lawyers gagged on Merrimack mother's plea deal in baby's death
Melissa Gutierrez walks into Merrimack District Court in September 2011 to face charges of negligent homicide involving her 8-month-old son, who drowned in a bathtub. (KIMBERLY HOUGHTON PHOTO)
"I anticipate we will keep it confidential until the plea and sentencing hearing," Hillsborough County Attorney Kent Smith said of the 27-year-old's June 17 scheduled appearance in Hillsborough County Superior Court.
The attorneys in the case decided to work out a negotiated plea and sentence "without the glare" of the media or the public, Smith said Monday.
Gutierrez, 27, is facing charges of negligent homicide, manslaughter, two counts of reckless conduct and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child for the Aug. 25, 2011, drowning at 46 Wilson Hill Road, Merrimack.
Police allege that she left her two children, an 8-month-old baby and a 2-year-old boy, unattended in the bathtub for an extended period of time with the water running. The youngest boy, Christian Ntapalis, drowned.
Last month, a medical expert testified that Melissa Gutierrez has led a life surrounded with death and drug addiction.
Prior to her son's drowning, Gutierrez lost her father in a fatal car accident, and also held her former partner while he died in her arms of a heart attack, according to Dr. Albert Drukteinis, who testified earlier that the young mother had an addiction to crack cocaine, prostituted herself and was the victim of a gang rape.
Court records indicate that the mother may have fallen asleep on the couch while water overflowed the bathtub where her two children played during the summer of 2011, eventually flooding the bathroom and causing water to leak through to the basement ceiling.
Defense counsel has been attempting to suppress statements that Gutierrez made to police following the death of her son. An attorney for Gutierrez, Anthony Sculimbrene, alleges the statements were obtained while Gutierrez was hysterical over the baby's death.
Drukteinis maintains that Gutierrez was suffering from mental illness that affected her ability to make rational decisions when speaking with authorities on three different occasions on the day of the boy's death and the day after.
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Manchester police investigating after man stabbed in neck - 0
- Ferguson protests enter third day; arrests in St. Louis - 0
- Abuse history at Nashua address where 3-year-old died - 5
- Franklin robbery suspect sought, considered armed and dangerous - 0
- Franklin man and woman arraigned for attempted prostitution of minor - 0
- Police investigating death of 3-year-old girl in Nashua - 7
- Police say hit-and-run driver was observed tossing beer cans from car - 0
- Police say woman stole pocketbook at Hudson Market Basket - 0
- Police say former manager of Hudson McDonald's stole $10k from restaurant - 1
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Celtics Insider: Celtics rule Smart out of tomorrow's game against Chicago - 0
- Berube the backbone of Monarchs' team 'D' - 0
- Packers QB Revis will pose a challenge for Patriots - 0
- Hudson may start charging for non-transport ambulance calls - 0
- NH suffers 4th worst outage on record - 0
- Camping out didn't pay for shoppers - 0
- Newsreel: Concord economic forecast; Tech Council hosts forum; UNH Fairchild Dairy honored - 0
- Londonderry-based MegaFood launches transparency project in vitamin industry - 0
- Grant program to help Granite State students with loans - 0
Person found dead in Manchester alley
On being American: A point for reflection
Your Turn, NH -- Mike Moffett: Republicans can win in 2016 with Kasich at the top of the ticket
NH suffers 4th worst outage on record
- Whom do you think bears the brunt of the blame for the mayhem this weekend in Keene?
- KSC students
- KSC administration
- Visitors from out of town
- A combination of any/all of the above
- Total Votes: 2483