Ernesto Gutierrez, who was convicted in the August 1983 stabbing death of Francisco “Kiki” Rodriguez at the Esquivias Lounge south of Deming, is scheduled for a parole hearing Friday.
Gutierrez was sentenced to 12 years in the New Mexico Corrections system in September of 1983 – 30 years ago – for Rodriguez’s death, but escaped from the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility west of Las Cruces in November of 1984 – just over a year later – and lived for over 23 years as a fugitive in Mexico before being caught again in January of 2008 and extradited to New Mexico to serve his time.
Cobos, who was a captain and one of Gutierrez’s arresting officers in 1983, said he is sending a letter to the parole board saying he doesn’t feel six total years of incarceration is adequate to address Gutierrez’s murder and escape-from-custody charges.
Interestingly, Gutierrez was in Luna County that fateful day in 1983 because he had fled Mexico after reportedly slashing the throat of a Mexican police chief.
Gutierrez and his brother, Manuel, were both sentenced for Rodriguez’s murder, but Manuel was unsuccessful in his escape attempt and served his time decades ago.