A Wisconsin father accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend’s new lover in May 2020 was found guilty by a jury of his peers in a Kenosha County courtroom late Wednesday afternoon.
Zachariah Anderson, 42, was convicted of intentional murder for the presumed death of Rosalio Gutierrez Jr., 40. Prosecutors argued the jealousy-fueled attack left blood spattered throughout the victim’s apartment – and left the location of the victim’s body a mystery.
The jury also found the defendant guilty of one count each of stalking Gutierrez, and of stalking Sadie Beacham, the mother of Zachariah Anderson’s children, and guilty on one count of hiding a corpse.
The counts were read out in the following order: (1) Beacham’s stalking; (2) Gutierrez’s stalking; (3) the homicide; and (4) the hiding of the corpse. When the murder conviction was read, a high-pitched voice in the courtroom audibly and loudly gasped.
Anderson remained stoic and stone-faced throughout the proceedings, only occasionally moving his facial features but showing little emotion.
Circuit Court for Kenosha County Judge Bruce Schroeder, the longest-serving judge in the state and the same septuagenarian jurist who oversaw the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, polled each juror after the foreperson delivered the verdict and confirmed that the results were unanimous.
More Law&Crime coverage: Video: Zachariah Anderson prosecutor accused of mouthing ‘die, die, die’ to coach witness testifying in murder trial
The defense unsuccessfully argued that the lack of the victim’s body was a major weakness in the state’s case.
Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley, however, painted a picture of Anderson as a jealous, controlling ex-boyfriend. The prosecutor told jurors that Beacham broke things off with him because of the way he acted—coming and going from her home as he pleased, not contributing financially on a regular basis, and so on. Though she let him have contact with their children from her, “she was ready to move on,” Graveley said.
The defendant’s murder trial began on the last day of February and ended on Monday morning this week.
In all, jurors deliberated for just over 10 hours before reaching their verdict – that the defendant was guilty of all charges.
“Our entire freedom in this country is dependent on people like you,” the judge said, thanking the jury. “It’s a guarantee of freedom against oppressive government that other countries don’t have. And it’s because of people like you that it’s kept strong and handed down to our children and the generations which follow us. So, there’s no way I could adequately express the gratitude that we have for you folks.”
The judge also commented on the lengthy nature of the trial – which included numerous interruptions and pauses. He noted that no one could be forced to discuss or withhold information if they desired and noted that each juror was exempt from jury service in the Badger State for the next four years.
“They want to know if they can have lifetime exemption,” a voice off-camera asked.
The judge laughed off the request,
“A lifetime exemption,” Schroeder said. “That I cannot do. But you’ve certainly earned one.”
Anderson’s sentencing hearing is currently slated for May 16.
Watch the reading of the verdict in full below:
Alberto Luperon and Vanessa Bein contributed to this report.
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