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Murder case of transgender woman Viccky Gutierrez moves to preliminary hearing

Viccky Gutierrez Transgender Woman Murdered

Viccky Gutierrez was stabbed and her apartment set ablaze on Jan. 10, 2018, authorities have said. Kevyn Ramirez has been charged in her murder. He has entered a plea of not guilty. The preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week. Photo: Facebook.

The Los Angeles man who has been charged in the murder of a Pico-Union transgender woman is scheduled to appear in court next week for the preliminary hearing.

TRANSGENDER WOMAN KILLED

Kevyn Ramirez, 29, has been charged with a special circumstance murder in the stabbing death of Victoria Ramos “Viccky” Gutierrez during an attempted first-degree robbery on Jan. 10, 2018, according to court documents.

Ramirez also allegedly set Gutierrez’s apartment on fire.

If convicted as charged, Ramirez faces the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. The prosecutor has not yet decided which punishment to pursue, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has said.

Ramirez has entered a plea of not guilty.

OTHER COUNTS

Ramirez also has been charged with two other counts: arson with allegations of multiple structures and use of an accelerant.

Ramirez’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Ramirez is being held without bail, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s website.

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PRELIMINARY HEARING

A preliminary hearing is in essence a mini trial where evidence is presented to the judge. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court decides whether sufficient evidence exists to proceed with the case.

Because the Gutierrez case involves a “special circumstance,” it’s not unusual that it took more than a year to schedule a preliminary hearing, said Shiara Davila-Morales, a spokeswoman with the district attorney’s office.

For example, the defense and prosecution have requested several continuances because the district attorney is required to turn over all evidence during the discovery phase.

In this case, the prosecutor had to turn over a significant amount of evidence, including coroner and toxicology reports, audio transcription, and video surveillance, which can take months to obtain, she said.

Also, the schedules of the prosecutors, defense attorneys and the court often dictate the court hearing dates, she said.

Phillip Zonkel can be reached at 562-295-5996 or phillip.zonkel@qvoicenews.com.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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