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Killer roommate is sentenced Neal Putnam | Sat, May 18 2013 12:00 PM

A National City man who killed his roommate after he made a disparaging remark was sentenced May 8 to 24 years in state prison.

Eduardo Gutierrez, 29, also known as Joel Gutierrez, was given consecutive sentences for assaulting a deputy sheriff while in jail and possession of a sharpened toothbrush, which is considered a weapon in jail.

Gutierrez admitted to killing Enrique Atilano, 53, whose nude body was found in the pair’s apartment in the 300 block of Norton Avenue in National City on May 14, 2012. He was arrested by National City Police the same day in a liquor store parking lot.

Gutierrez was sentenced by Chula Vista Superior Court Judge Ana Espana, who fined him and gave him credit for one year in jail.

Deputy District Attorney William LaFond said Gutierrez will have to serve 85 percent of the 24-year term before he is eligible for parole.

He said the stabbing occurred after the victim made a disparaging comment to Gutierrez about the loss of his 6-month-old son which occurred months earlier when Gutierrez’s girlfriend also lived there.

LaFond said there was a struggle over the knife after the roommates had been arguing earlier about food in the refrigerator. Gutierrez has a criminal record for carjacking in 2002, and received five more years for having the prior conviction. He received 13 years for manslaughter plus six years for the deputy assault and possessing weapons in jail.

Gutierrez pleaded guilty March 6, but three weeks later he put something heavy in a sock and struck a deputy in his cell at the central jail.

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