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Suspect in shooting pleads down to manslaughter charge

July 14, 2021 GMT

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A man originally charged with murder in connection with a 2019 shooting at a Worcester apartment complex pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a lesser charge of manslaughter.

Juan Gutierrez, of Southbridge, was sentenced to up to 20 years in prison in Worcester Superior Court after pleading guilty in the death of Juan Mendez, 37, on Sept. 7, 2019, The Telegram & Gazette reported.

Investigators said the shooting was not a random act.

Gutierrez’s alleged accomplice, charged with acting as a getaway driver, awaits trial.

Witnesses identified the suspects and police also used images captured from video surveillance in their investigation.

Gutierrez was also charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and resisting arrest.