ONE A Wisconsin father is currently on trial for brutally murdering his ex-partner’s new lover, whom he allegedly stalked and beat with an object before disposing of his remains.
Zachariah Anderson, 42, is accused of killing Rosalio Gutierrez Jr, 40, in his Wood Creek apartment in May 2020.
Gutierrez, 40, was dating Anderson’s ex-girlfriend Sadie Beacham – with whom the accused killer has three children.
Prosecutors allege Anderson was jealous of the new relationship and stalked his love rival.
Meanwhile, Mr. Anderson’s defense claims the state failed to look into any other possible suspects.
The 42-year-old is now on trial in Kenosha County District Court on charges of first-degree murder, concealing a corpse and stalking. He faces up to life in prison.
Here’s what we know about the case:
Guttierez was last seen or heard from on May 17, 2020.
Two days later, a worried Mrs Beecham visited his home to check on him after she was unable to contact him.
When he arrived at his apartment, he discovered the patio door open and blood on the floor, furniture and ceiling of the house.
An area rug was also missing from the property, he told investigators.
Ms Beecham contacted the police who conducted a welfare check inside Gutierrez’s home.
Inside, investigators found large amounts of blood and signs of a struggle, according to a criminal complaint.
The victim’s body was never found, but investigators believe he is dead based on the massive amount of blood found inside his apartment.
On the evening of May 17, 2020, prosecutors allege that Mr. Anderson went to Gutierrez’s apartment and brutally killed him with brute force because he was jealous of his relationship with his ex-partner.
He then allegedly disposed of Gutierrez’s body.
The morning after Gutierrez was last seen alive, he was caught on surveillance footage at a local WalMart where he bought trash bags, latex gloves and bleach wipes.
He also bought cans of sardines.
Investigators closed in on Mr Anderson as Ms Beecham revealed she believed her ex was tracking her movements.
In the days since Gutierrez’s death was discovered, police found smoldering burn pits at both Mr. Anderson’s home and his farm, with the remains of a bleach bottle and the accused killer’s clothes among the ashes.
Prosecutors said Gutierrez’s DNA was later found inside Mr. Anderson’s work truck and there was evidence that the interior had been cleaned with bleach.
Parts of the vehicle’s interior carpet had also been removed.
Surprisingly, two opened and uneaten cans of sardines were also discovered under the passenger seat, the criminal complaint states.
On May 21, 2020, Mr. Anderson was arrested and charged with two felony counts of stalking.
That December, he was also hit with charges of manslaughter and concealing a corpse.
He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Jealousy and stalking
During his high-profile trial, jurors heard that Mr Anderson was jealous of his ex-partner’s new relationship and was spying on the couple.
On March 15, Mr Anderson’s 15-year-old daughter took the stand to testify that her father had asked her to spy on her mother and record “every time my mother was upset”.
She testified that she would “often” bring Gutierrez when she saw him.
Then, shortly before Gutierrez’s disappearance, Anderson allegedly took his daughter with him to spy on the couple.
On the evening of April 24 – less than a month before the murder – she said her father had driven them both to her mother’s house to watch Ms Beecham and Gutierrez through the window.
Anderson also drove by Gutierrez’s truck and took pictures of the vehicle’s license plate and license plate, she said.
The accused killer is seen signaling the daughter to stop talking as she testifies against him
He then rang the bell of the house and fled, he said.
The teenager also testified that her father told her of his plans to go after his love rival – who was reported to have used a racial slur.
“He said something to show him who the man was, and I didn’t quite catch it, but you picked up on things that my dad was referring to or implying,” she said.
“My dad told me, he said, ‘I might just watch him or follow him to his house one time for fun.’ Those were his exact words to me.”
Chaos in the courtroom
A dramatic moment unfolded inside the courtroom on March 15 when Mr Anderson appeared to signal his teenage daughter to stop talking as she testified against him.
Mr. Anderson was seen putting his hand over his mouth and pursing his lips as he looked at his 15-year-old daughter on the witness stand in Kenosha County Circuit Court.
Prosecutors accused the defendant of signaling to his daughter as he testified.
Meanwhile, the defense also accused Ms Beacham of using sign language to communicate with her daughter on the stand.