Man accused of killing his daughter will face murder charge

Posted: July 03, 2014

ENOUGH EVIDENCE exists for a murder case to proceed against a Philadelphia man accused of killing his 6-month-old daughter, a judge ruled yesterday.

During Joshua Gutierrez's preliminary hearing before Municipal Judge David Shuter, the prosecution presented one witness who was with him the day his daughter, Amarianna, was found unresponsive.

"He was calm," Marlene Aviles said, describing Gutierrez's demeanor on June 21, 2013, when he descended the stairs of an East Frankford home holding his daughter - who was blue and not breathing - saying something was wrong.

The testimony was enough to persuade the judge to hold Gutierrez, 23, for trial after a 25-minute hearing that was contentious at times.

Gutierrez was charged Feb. 21 with murder, involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child. The Medical Examiner's Office ruled that Amarianna died of neurotrauma and that it was a homicide, according to the affidavit of probable cause in the case. Her injuries included child and adult bite marks to several limbs and a detached eye.

Defense attorney David Rudenstein asked Aviles during cross-examination whether she knew for sure what had happened inside the baby's bedroom or if anyone other than Gutierrez could have entered. Aviles responded that she was giving her own child a bath while also watching the baby's bedroom door.

"Basically, sitting here, you can't swear who was in that bedroom," Rudenstein said.

In five separate cases, Gutierrez faces more than two dozen misdemeanor and felony charges ranging from drug possession to carjacking, according to court records. He's the co-defendant in two robbery cases of Thomas Coffee, a Willow Grove man accused of robbing people he met through Craigslist postings and killing one.

Gutierrez's formal arraignment is set for July 23.

On Twitter: @dylan_segelbaum

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