A man in North Carolina will “effectively” spend the rest of his life behind bars after he admitted he killed his wife while addicted to drugs, a judge said.
Lawrence Ray Guttierrez, 52, was recently sentenced in Pitt County Superior Court to up to 317 months, or over 26 years, in prison in connection with the second-degree murder of his wife, Tavara Guttierrez, 44, at their home in Greenville, Reflector reported.
According to the outlet, an attorney for Ray Guttierrez claimed in court his client was battling a meth addiction when he strangled Tavara Guttierrez to death on May 24, 2022.
The victim’s body was found in the couple’s home days later when concerned coworkers requested a wellbeing check because she hadn’t been at work. Her cause of death was determined to be asphyxiation by strangulation.
The defendant was arrested on May 26, 2022, in Mississippi, WNCT reported.
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“I’m so sorry,” Guttierrez said at his sentencing hearing. “I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t stop doing the drugs.”
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