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Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Thursday, July 20, 2000

CORNYN ANNOUNCES MEXICAN PRISONER IDENTIFIED AS INTERNATIONAL FUGITIVE

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn announced today that Nicolas Mauro Gutierrez, a Mexican national wanted in Texas for murder, has been positively identified by authorities as the individual who committed suicide in a Mexican prison.

"It is my hope that this process will help bring closure to the families of Mr. Gutierrez's victims. I want to thank Mexican law enforcement officials for their cooperation in this matter," said Attorney General Cornyn.

Gutierrez had been a fugitive from justice since his indictment for the May 12, 1997 murder of his common-law wife Margaret Girela, in Webb County, Texas. Following his flight, an Article 4 prosecution case was filed by the Webb County District Attorney and the Texas Attorney General's Offices, and warrants were issued by Mexico for Gutierrez's arrest. It is believed that Gutierrez, using the alias Luis Ernesto Gutierrez Garcia, was moving from Nuevo Laredo, Tampico, Monterrey and Gomez Palacios, Durango.

On April 28, 2000, Gutierrez was arrested in Durango, Mexico and transported to Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico. According to Mexican authorities, on the evening of April 29, Gutierrez was found hanged in his cell in the Tampico prison where he was being held awaiting further action on his case. He hanged himself with his own belt.

Following Gutierrez's death, the Texas Attorney General's Office, the Webb County District Attorney and the Laredo Police Department made positive identification of the deceased. A delegation of Texas law enforcement authorities including the head of the Texas Attorney General's Foreign Prosecution Unit and the chief investigator of the Attorney General's Prosecutor Assistance Division met with Mexican officials in Nuevo Laredo to view the original autopsy file in this case.

The autopsy file consisted of all official reports, a series of original black and white and color photographs taken immediately after the body was discovered hanged in the cell and at the autopsy, and the fingerprints taken from the deceased at the autopsy. In addition, a Texas fingerprint expert compared the prints taken at the autopsy with prints of Gutierrez obtained from the Laredo Police Department files. He was able to match at least two digits with at least ten points of comparison on each digit.

The original color photos taken at the autopsy were clearly photos of the same individual who was known to have been arrested on April 28, 2000, in Gomez Palacios, Durango, Mexico. Further, these photos clearly revealed the bruising around the neck of the deceased from the belt used to hang himself. Additionally, the photos clearly revealed known identifying scars on the defendant.

Gutierrez is one of several international fugitives featured on the Attorney General's Article 4 prosecution/fugitives web page. For more information on this case and the international prosecutions unit, access http://www.oag.state.tx.us/criminal/art4.htm#fugitives.

Attorney General Cornyn wishes to thank the Mexican Attorney General's Office, the Webb County District Attorney's office and the Laredo Police Department for their cooperation and assistance.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050
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