Tuesday , May 21 2024

Visalia Man Allegedly Involved in Murder for Hire Case in Las Vegas

A man from Visalia is behind bars in Las Vegas for allegedly murdering his brother-in-law with a hatchet.
22-year old Hector Gutierrez is accused by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department of helping his sister, 33-year old Maria Hernandez, kill Hernandez’s husband, 43-year old Enrique Hernandez, on Memorial Day. Investigators in Las Vegas said the Hernandez’s were in town from Burley, Idaho, and Gutierrez came from Visalia. The family was gathering in Las Vegas for a birthday celebration.
Georganne Lee is a Las Vegas resident who lives near the intersection where the alleged murder took place.
Lee said, "I heard yelling and screaming outside of my block wall and I thought it was maybe just some druggies."
Lee said she witnessed the moments right after Enrique was allegedly killed with a hatchet. Lee said she saw Maria standing over his body.
"Her arms were out stretched. It was as though she was pleading," said Lee.
According to police reports, Maria initially told police she and her husband’s van broke down in the early morning hours of Memorial Day.
Lt. Ray Steiber said, "The female had said her husband had just been attacked by an unknown race male and their vehicle had been stolen and that he was injured."
But police said what really happened was Maria and her brother Hector attacked Enrique outside of the van. Investigators said Maria may have held her husband down as her brother used a hatchet to nearly decapitate him.
In the police report, it says Maria wired $ 800 dollars from a Walmart in Burley, ID, to a Walmart in Visalia for Hector. Hector told police the money was for his trip to Las Vegas to carry out the murder, while Maria has said it was to pay for her baby brother’s living expenses.
Maria has told police the entire murder plot was concocted because she was in an alleged physical and sexually abusive relationship with her husband.
Hector allegedly told police he never wanted to murder anyone, but he felt obligated to his sister. According to the Tulare County Superior Court, Hector does not have a criminal record.
Both face charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

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