Defense attorney claims slaying victim was police informant

When a 31-year-old man delivered a body to Ingleside police station last year, police and prosecutors thought they had an open-and-shut case.

On July 26, 2007, Jaime Gutierrez drove the body of Abraham “Spanky” Guerra, 37, to the station. Guerra had been hit with a shotgun blast, and Gutierrez turned himself in for the killing.

The District Attorney’s Office charged Gutierrez with first-degree murder.

But Gutierrez’s defense team said Monday during opening statements of his trial that the story is much more complicated.

Defense attorney Eric Safire said that not only was the dead man a known gang member who was extorting Gutierrez for money, but he also was an informant for the authorities.

On the day of the killing, Guerra drove up to Gutierrez’s classic-car repair shop with two other known Norteño gang members, Safire said. Guerra was armed with a handgun, demanding that Gutierrez pay him a portion of a recent car sale.

Gutierrez, fearing for his wife and daughters, went inside the shop and grabbed a shotgun instead, Safire said. After Guerra refused to leave, Gutierrez went to the passenger side door and shot the armed man in self-defense, Safire said.

Safire said Guerra was on parole at the time, while Gutierrez had turned his life around after spending three years in a gang as a teenager.

Prosecutors would not comment on Guerra’s role as an informant. They claim that Guerra was unarmed and killed in cold blood.

The trial continues today. 

bbegin@sfexaminer.com 

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

U.S. Attorney David Anderson announces federal firearms charges against two men for their roles in a March 2019 shooting outside the Fillmore Heritage Center in a news conference alongside SFPD staff at the Phillip Burton Federal Building on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Departing U.S. attorney predicts corruption probe will continue

David Anderson shook up City Hall as top federal prosecutor

Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, a former school board member, has been asked to help secure an agreement between the school district and teacher’s union. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
 <ins></ins>
Supervisor Walton tapped to mediate teacher contract talks

District and union at odds over hours in-person students should be in the classroom

California is set to receive supplies of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is still under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Courtesy photo)
California could receive 380K doses of new J&J COVID vaccine next week

California could receive 380,300 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine… Continue reading

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

A Bay Area Concrete Recycling facility that opened on PG&E property in 2019. Former PG&E employees have been accused of accepting bribes from Bay Area Concrete. (Courtesy of Bay Area Concrete Recycling via ProPublica)
Lawsuit reveals new allegations against PG&E contractor accused of fraud

By Scott Morris Bay City News Foundation Utility giant Pacific Gas &… Continue reading

Most Read