His co-workers repeatedly ridiculed him over his estranged wife’s alleged affair with a man he worked with, Jose Gutierrez-Rosales told officials. They would pretend to call her. They laughed and bullied him. He had had enough.
“They provoked all of this,” Gutierrez-Rosales told sheriff’s investigators, according to a report by KTLA sister station KGET.
On April 18, Gutierrez-Rosales said he and Hector Javier Castaneda Vasquez — the man he believed was sleeping with his wife — were working near irrigation pipes on Di Giorgio Road east of Lamont. That’s when the “accident” happened, he told investigators, according to court filings.
“We were there picking up the pipes,” he reportedly said. “I ate about two tacos, and I felt my body like strange, and then all of a sudden, I grabbed the pipe, and I just started going at him.”
He said he spoke to Vasquez as he beat him to death, officials say.
“This is for getting involved with my family,” Gutierrez-Rosales reportedly said he told Vasquez as he hit him.
Gutierrez-Rosales, 49, is charged with first-degree murder and held without bail. He’s due back in court Tuesday.
Vasquez, 56, died at the scene. He suffered multiple facial fractures and had cuts to his face and the back of his head, according to the documents. Several teeth had been knocked out.
It’s unclear from the documents if Gutierrez-Rosales was actually married. A woman whose name is redacted told investigators she and Gutierrez-Rosales were in a relationship three months but had separated several weeks before the killing. She said he has anger issues.
Deputies arrested Gutierrez-Rosales April 28. Other co-workers had witnessed the beating and identified him as the perpetrator, officials say.
One witness told police he at first thought Gutierrez-Rosales was killing a snake. From his angle, he couldn’t see the object hit four or five times with what appeared to be a long pole. Another co-worker yelled “stop,” the witness said.
After killing Vasquez, Gutierrez-Rosales said he drove to Taft, left the vehicle there and began to walk to Bakersfield, according to court documents. He asked God for forgiveness and began cutting himself with a knife similar to a box cutter. He said his cellphone died and he buried it near a grape vineyard by the highway.
He said he knew he’d get caught. If he had really wanted to run he’d have gone to Mexico, Gutierrez-Rosales told detectives.
“I’m going to own up to it like a man,” he said.