Ruben Gutierrez doesn't deny that he, along with his accomplices Rene Garcia and Pedro Gracia, intended to rob 85-year-old Escolastica Harrison.

Harrison owned a mobile home park but distrusted banks. So she kept her savings, over half a million dollars, stuffed in suitcases in her home. Not many people knew about this, but Ruben Gutierrez did.

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Guiterrez had befriended Harrison's nephew Avel Cuellar and ran errands for Harrison. Unfortunately, it was this friendship that alerted Guiterrez to the money, and poor Avel was the one who found his aunt dead in what must have been a horrific scene.

On Sept. 5, 1998, Harrison was robbed and stabbed multiple times in the head with two different screwdrivers. The men made off with $56,000, a fraction of Harrison's stash, but not an insignificant amount of money.

canva/ TX Dept. Corrections
canva/ TX Dept. Corrections

Guiterrez maintains that he never entered Harrison's home and that he had no intent to kill her. He has tried to have DNA testing done on blood and hair samples to prove he didn't do the brutal slaying, and merely profited off of it.

Texas has continually denied his requests for DNA testing, claiming that the result would not change the material facts of the case. Harrison was killed while the three men committed another felony (robbery), making it a capital case, Guiterrez was a party to the crime, even if he didn't physically stab her, and because of Texas' Law of Parties, he is considered just as guilty.

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Guiterrez has been on death row since 1999 and was originally scheduled to be executed in 2020. That date was stayed due to a high court ruling about religious figures in the execution chamber.

Now, Guiterrez is scheduled to be executed on July 16th, 2024. Unless he can find another way to obtain a stay, or less likely, have his sentence commuted to life in prison, his story will end very soon in the Huntsville death chamber.

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