Man sentenced to 45 years in prison for murdering girlfriend's 3-year-old son

Ricardo Gutierrez appears in court for his sentencing hearing on Feb 13, 2018 - KATU photo

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. – The man found guilty of killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son back in 2016 was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Ricardo Gutierrez was arrested on murder charges on May 23, 2016 after police say 3-year-old Jose "Pepe" Castillo-Cisneros was thrown at a wall, assaulted and stabbed with a steak knife.

The boy was hospitalized in critical condition and later pronounced dead.

Investigators said Gutierrez got angry because the young boy was crying. According to court papers, Gutierrez told police he doesn't remember attacking the toddler, claiming he blacks out when he gets mad.

Arriving officers said Gutierrez had blood on his clothes and injuries on his hands when police took him into custody. He was later booked into the Clark County Jail on first-degree murder.

Gutierrez lived with the little boy's mother at the time of the killing. The boy's older sister referred to Gutierrez as their dad, but the exact familial relationship is unclear.

Gutierrez got out of prison in June 2013 after serving nearly 6 years for a 2007 assault conviction for strangling a woman in Medford.

He was still on supervised release from Oregon's Department of Corrections at the time of the murder.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Insanity plea in the works for man accused of killing 3-year-old Battle Ground boy


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