Foreshadowing her own death, Karina Gutierrez warned that her then husband wanted to harm her “in many ways” when she sought and won a protection order against him nearly two years ago.
The protection order was still in effect when he hit Gutierrez, 38, over and over in the dark hours of Monday morning; she died of head trauma not long after officers reached her, according to the coroner, media reports and court records. Part of the beating reportedly occurred outside the apartment building where Gutierrez lived. A bat was used as a club, according to some reports.
The accused attacker, Jose Antonio Rivera, was found not long after and charged with murder in the death of Gutierrez and assault of her juvenile daughter. The daughter was not taken to the hospital.
The murder was Lexington’s 25th of the year, which equals the number of killings classified as murders in 2016. With more than two months left in the year, the city is on track to meet or surpass the record 27 murders that occurred in 1999 and 2001.
Gutierrez sought the protective order on Jan. 28, 2016, and it wasn’t due to expire until Jan. 28, 2018. Rivera was ordered to stay at least 500 feet away from Gutierrez and stop abuse, threats, stalking or sexual assault, according to court records. He was told not to communicate with Gutierrez or damage any of their property.
In the petition for the order, she wrote that she and Rivera separated in July 2015 and she moved out of the house that December.
Soon after she left the house, Gutierrez began to fear for her life.
“Since this happened, he is stalking me, sending me threatening text messages where he said he wants to harm me in many ways,” she wrote in January 2016. “He had used violence in the past towards me and I am sure he will do that again.”
“He won’t stop hurting me,” Gutierrez said in the protection order.
Rivera is being held at the Fayette County Detention Center without bond.