Bradenton gang member convicted of attempted murder

jdeleon@bradenton.comOctober 19, 2013 


BRADENTON -- A known Bradenton gang member was convicted of attempted murder Friday in a Manatee County courthouse.

Miguel Gutierrez was found guilty of attempted murder in the second degree with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He faces up to 45 years in a state prison.

Following a two-day trial, the jury deliberated for nearly two and a half hours before rendering the verdict in a courtroom that had heightened security.

"Due to the presence of documented gang members there were members of the Bradenton Police Department gang unit, casual clothes unit and detectives who did testify on behalf of the Bradenton police department," Bradenton Police Deputy Chief Warren Merriman said. "Due to the guilty verdict we will have extra patrols where known gang violence has occurred in the past."

The shooting occurred on March 22 in the 400 block of 10th Avenue West in Bradenton when a dispute turned physical. The victim was shot once in the leg. Gutierrez was arrested on March 25.

Codefendant Mario Mendoza was convicted of attempted murder of the second degree with a weapon and throwing a deadly missile at, within or into a building or vehicle on April 10.

"It was a fair outcome," assistant State Attorney Dickey Hough said. "This defendant has a prior conviction of manslaughter, and with the conviction I am going to seek the maximum penalty."

Hough said the jury also made findings of discharge and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, so the minimum penalty Gutierrez will face is 20 years in prison.

Gutierrez was convicted of manslaughter in October 1991.

Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.

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