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Wisconsin Dad Guilty Of Stalking His Ex-Girlfriend And Killing Her New Boyfriend
"This really is a testament to good winning out over evil,” prosecutors said of 42-year-old Zachariah Anderson’s conviction in Rosalio Gutierrez Jr.'s 2020 murder.
A Wisconsin man was convicted this week in the 2020 slaying of his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend, whom she’d met online in the wake of her previous breakup.
Zachariah Anderson, 42, was found guilty on Wednesday of stalking his former partner, Sadie Beacham, and the intentional murder of her boyfriend, Rosalio Gutierrez Jr., the Kenosha News reported. He was also convicted on charges of hiding a corpse.
Fitted in a light navy blue suit with a patterned pink tie, his hair tied back in a bun, Anderson stood stoically, exhibiting no reaction as the judge read the jury’s verdict.
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In February 2020, Beacham ended a long-term relationship with Anderson, with whom she had three children. Beacham later met Gutierrez online.
In May 2020, Gutierrez vanished. He was reported missing on May 19, 2020. “Large amounts of blood” were later found in his house, police said, however, Gutierrez’s body was never found.
Investigators subsequently located a burn pit in Anderson’s home, including damaged clothes and a partially burned bottle of bleach, according to CourtTV.
Gutierrez's blood was also found in Anderson's Dodge minivan, and the vehicle smelled of bleach. A second burn pit and more clothes were later found at a farm owned by his family. DNA evidence also linked him to Gutierrez’s murder.
At trial, prosecutors had painted Anderson as a jealous, spiteful ex-boyfriend who was hellbent on inflicting violence on Guitierrez after learning he was courting Beacham.
"This really is a testament to good winning out over evil, and the jury being able to look past the fact that we still — to this day — don't know where [Gutierrez] is," Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Krejcarek said, Milwaukee television station WITI reported.
As the verdict was read, Beacham cupped her hand over her face and visibly sobbed as she was consoled by loved ones.
"Having the support of friends, family, people that I don’t know — helped give us the strength," she said following Anderson’s conviction.
Beacham testified at trial about Anderson’s obsessive behavior, which spiraled into stalking, culminating in fears her ex was tracking her movements using a burner phone she’d found planted in her vehicle.
"Like, almost in a harassing way, like, constantly emailing me all hours of the night, texting all hours, bringing me flowers," Beacham said.
She later told the court about the moment she discovered signs of foul play at Guitterrez’s apartment after last seeing him on May 16, 2020.
"I opened the screen, pushed the blinds aside, and I immediately saw red blood on the floor," Beacham told the court. "The apartment looked different."
Beacham explained to the jury how her boyfriend’s furniture appeared to have been shuffled around. A rug was also missing.
"I had concerns that, possibly, Zach had done something," Beacham added.
Anderson’s lawyers, meanwhile, pointed to the absence of a body in their defense, arguing the state had little concrete evidence to work with in implicating their client.
Throughout the trial, Gutierrez’s family and friends had packed the courtroom gallery. The jury, composed of seven women and five men, deliberated for roughly 10 hours prior to rendering Wednesday’s decision.
"I’m eternally grateful. My husband, family and I — Rosalio — finally has justice," Selia Patterson, Gutierrez's mother, said.
Anderson’s family was not in court when the verdict was read, however, they’d been present for most of the earlier trial proceedings. His lawyers haven’t issued a public statement following the court ruling.
Anderson will be sentenced on May 16. His lawyer, Nicole A. Muller, indicated that she plans to appeal the conviction, according to People.