Man accused of strangling his wife to death released from jail

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A murder suspect who was ordered back into custody by the New Mexico Supreme Court is out of jail again.

Jerome Gutierrez is accused of killing his wife, Kristy Rivera, in a domestic violence incident at the couple’s home back in May.

A judge put Gutierrez on pretrial release earlier this year but without a pretrial detention hearing. Last Thursday, the New Mexico Supreme Court ordered him back into custody and demanded a pretrial detention hearing.

"He did beat her so badly that she died. If he’s willing to do that in front of his own child, I don’t know how the court could fashion conditions of release that would reasonably, number one, protect his own child,” said Jordan Machin, prosecutor.

"We’re going to have a second injustice if we continue the path for prosecuting this man. This man is innocent, judge," said Ahmad Assed, Gutierrez’s defense attorney.

Monday afternoon, in a 14-page order, Judge Cindy Leos decided the state had not provided enough evidence that Gutierrez is a threat to public safety and placed him on pretrial release once again.

A spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office shared this statement:

"Gutierrez admitted to pushing Rivera’s head into a wall, squeezing her neck and abusing her repeatedly in the days before her death. While we are disappointed that the court did not believe that these facts warranted Gutierrez’s pre-trial detention, we look forward to presenting our case to a jury and seeking justice for Kristy Rivera and her family."