Final chapter of child sex assault case comes to unexpected close |

Final chapter of child sex assault case comes to unexpected close

Sky-Hi News Staff report
Daniel Gutierrez

The third and final defendant waiting to be sentenced in a child sex assault case from nearly two years ago has died.

Daniel A. Gutierrez, 27, was arrested in February 2020 on a warrant that included allegations of sexually assaulting a child. In April 2021, Gutierrez pleaded guilty to assault in the first degree, a class 3 felony and criminal attempt to commit sexual assault, a class five felony. Since that time, Gutierrez was awaiting sentencing that was being delayed due to a competency evaluation.

Gutierrez died on April 26, 2022. According to information released from the Grand County Coroners Office, the cause was severe sepsis with septic shock, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus and a myocardial infarction type 2, meaning Gutierrez died from septic shock caused by a staph infection that was resistant to antibiotics and a heart attack.

Kathryn Dowdell, Chief Deputy District Attorney for the 14th Judicial District, said in a a statement to the Sky-HI News, “The death of Mr. Gutierrez represents the final chapter in the court proceedings of these three defendants. The resolution of these three cases allows the victim to move forward with their life, with therapeutic support, knowing that these three prosecutions have come to a close, and that they no longer face the possibility of having to relive these traumas in open court. The prosecution thanks law enforcement for their dedication to these investigations and to the agencies supporting the victim in their recovery.”

The other two defendants in the case were Eric Cordero of Craig and Larry Darnell of Kremmling.

Cordero was sentenced to 18 years for assault with a deadly weapon and attempted sexual assault on a person under 15 years.

Darnell, who in May of 2021 pleaded guilty to felony sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust as part of a pattern was sentenced to an indeterminate life sentence. The Colorado Sex Offender Management Board will be responsible for the exact length of Darnell’s sentence, for which 16 years imprisonment is the minimum.

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