One of Orange County's most messed-up slayings of 2011 happened the afternoon of Aug. 27, when an Anaheim woman was fatally shot in the head as her children–a 3-year-old boy, 1-year-old girl and a 1-month-old boy–watched.
The late Nicole Gutierrez's then-boyfriend, 23-year-old Samuel Oscar Montes, pleaded guilty Friday under a deal that will likely send him to state prison for 15 years after sentencing in September. The prosecutor says he negotiated the plea deal because of issues with proving a murder case and the victim's family being OK with it.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simmons told City News Service that 20-year-old Montes and Gutierrez were having an argument when they got into a struggle and the gun went off.
Montes pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a sentencing enhancement for the use of a gun, and prosecutors dropped a murder charge and three counts of child abuse and endangerment that, with a conviction, could have sent the defendant to prison for 50 years to life.