NORWALK (CNS) – A state appeals court panel today conditionally reversed the conviction of a young man who was charged, along with the victim’s son and another defendant, with a murder that occurred during a September 2014 home-invasion robbery in Pico Rivera.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal agreed that the case against Angel Emilio Estrello — who is identified in the appellate court ruling only as “Angel E.” — should be sent to a juvenile court to determine if he is fit to be dealt with under juvenile court law as the result of a ballot measure approved by California voters a week after he was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison.
Estrello was 15 at the time of the Sept. 20, 2014, killing of Sergio Gutierrez, who was attacked about 1:35 a.m. Sept. 20, 2014, inside his home in a gated community in the 3700 block of Oaklawn Lane.
The victim died from a chokehold and multiple sharp force traumatic injuries, and cash, credit cards and the family vehicle were taken.
Estrello was convicted along with the victim’s son, Sergio Anthony Gutierrez, who was 17 at the time of the crime.
Both were found guilty of one count each of first-degree murder and two counts of home-invasion robbery. Estrello was also convicted of one count of first-degree burglary.
A third defendant, Jesus Adame, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
Gutierrez and Adame were also sentenced to potential life prison terms.
In its four-page opinion, the appellate court panel ruled that Estrello’s convictions and sentence should be reinstated if he is determined not to be fit to be dealt with under juvenile court law.
“If the juvenile court finds that it would not have transferred the juvenile to a court of criminal jurisdiction, then the court shall treat the juvenile’s conviction as a juvenile adjudication and impose an appropriate disposition,” the justices ruled.
No decision has been made on Gutierrez’s appeal, which was filed separately.