EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Cristina Gutierrez Picked Up An Attempted Murder Case 11 Days Before Adnan's Second Trial

As we noted on Monday's episode of the Undisclosed Podcast, during her representation of Adnan, Cristina Gutierrez was involved in eight murder cases in five different jurisdictions. In addition to these cases, Gutirrez was also involved in an attempted murder case.

I know this because there is another misplaced file in the defense files. In between Adnan's trials, Gutierrez sent her law student/clerk to prison to interview Adnan and a new client on January 15, 2000 (11 days before Adnan's second trial).  The resulting memos from both cases are in the defense files.

There aren't many details about this other case, but what I do know is that the client was arrested on December 31, 1999. It was New Year's Eve, and the client was in possession of a .44 Smith & Wesson Magnum. The gun was unregistered, which caused him to walk away briskly when a police officer approached him. There was then an altercation, which involved another police officer shooting at the client, but missing.

Despite there being seemingly no evidence that the client fired his gun, he was charged with attempted murder as well as possession of an unregistered firearm and first and second degree assault. Ultimately, on July 12, 2000, the client pleaded guilty to the lesser offenses in exchange for the attempted murder charge being dropped.

I wish I had additional details about the case, but nonetheless it is interesting to see that Gutierrez was juggling yet another serious case at the same time she was representing Adnan.



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Does this sad story ever end?

Posted by: streetwriter | Nov 4, 2015 2:46:20 PM

The sheer number of cases makes me wonder if she had dementia or incipient dementia at this point. I'm not a lawyer, so I have no basis for comparison, but it's hard to comprehend how one could even keep work flowcharts organized and up to date with this many cases.

Posted by: Sato Moughalian | Nov 4, 2015 3:02:17 PM

It would be interesting to see what notes from Adnan's case ended up mixed in those other case files.

Posted by: Jennifer | Nov 4, 2015 3:28:01 PM

Wow Jenifer that is excellent point above about perhaps other notes being in other folders of Gutierrez's

Posted by: Courtney | Nov 5, 2015 4:52:32 AM

Stop the bleeding.

Posted by: kc | Nov 5, 2015 5:24:08 AM

Was she running a sort of Ponzi scheme? Pulling in new cases (and thus retainers) to cover prior commitments?

Posted by: Michael Byrnes | Nov 5, 2015 8:26:24 AM

Can the amount of serious cases being handled at once by a single lawyer and some law students be considered IAC for Adnan?

Posted by: Jessica | Nov 5, 2015 9:07:58 AM

Sato - MS can cause severe cognitive degradation, personality changes, and memory problems.

Posted by: Squatch | Nov 5, 2015 9:58:10 AM

Didn't the judge in Adnan's second trial have a duty to pull Christina aside and say, "Look, lady, you're screwing over your client because you're barely functioning. You need to step down."?? Isn't the judge in a courtroom ultimately responsible for conducting a fair trial?? And isn't that maybe the reason she's been so hostile toward Serial and Undisclosed?? She knows she screwed up??

Posted by: Eric Wolff | Nov 6, 2015 3:01:53 AM

While I think it is terrible, I can see why CG kept taking retainers and cases. But some of these were pro bono. How does that make sense?

Posted by: Sam | Nov 7, 2015 3:27:10 PM

streetwriter: There’s even more.

Sato: I can’t believe she had so many murder cases at once.

Jennifer: Indeed.

Michael: I would love to know where the money went.

Eric: Good question.

Sam: I don’t think any of these cases were pro bono.

Posted by: Colin | Nov 7, 2015 5:36:06 PM

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