Originally published by the Stanislaus County District Attorney:
District Attorney Jeff Laugero announced that Eric Mills, age 41 of East Palo Alto, was convicted at jury trial of first-degree murder with a gun. The jury also found that Mills committed the murder by means of ‘lying in wait’, a special circumstance. Additionally, Mills was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Mills is alleged to have 2 or more serious felony convictions that make him eligible for sentencing under the California 3-strikes law.
Evidence at trial demonstrated that Mills had been roommates with the victim before being asked to move out. After moving out, Mills became upset with the victim. Mills knew where the victim, Teodoro Gutierrez, worked and when his shifts ended. During a dense morning fog on January 1, 2021, Mills waited at an intersection that Gutierrez used to get home after work. When the victim arrived at this intersection located at Monte Vista Avenue and Carpenter Road, Mills shot him in the head.
Mills is facing ‘life without the possibility of parole’ in prison. The murder was investigated by detectives with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department with assistance from the Stanislaus County Bureau of Investigation. Deputy District Attorney Vita Palazuelos prosecuted this case on behalf of the People.
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