KENOSHA COUNTY, Wisc. (Court TV) — The trial of a Wisconsin man accused of stalking and killing his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend resumes after an unexpected halt in the middle of the defense’s opening statement on Tuesday.
Prosecutors say Zachariah Anderson, 42, murdered Rosalio Gutierrez Jr. in May 2020. His body has not been found.
During defense attorney Nicole Muller’s opening statement, she described to jurors how law enforcement failed to investigate any suspects, other than the defendant, including Anderson’s ex-girlfriend, Sadie Beacham.
The statement fueled a swift objection by the state, prompting Kenosha County Circuit Judge Bruce Schroeder to excuse the jury.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley argued the jury would now associate “planning a homicide” with Beacham due to the statements made by the defense.
The defense countered that the statements were made not to imply Beacham committed the murder, but to point out the shortfalls of the police investigation by only considering the defendant for the crime.
Both parties were able to compromise at the Motion for Mistrial hearing Wednesday. An instruction will be read at the conclusion of the defense’s opening statement addressing the issue, and the defense agreed to allow the state to call an additional witness to refute the implication that may have been implied because of the statements made by the defense.
The trial is scheduled to resume Thursday, Mar. 2, 2023.