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Suspect in '97 Glendale Slaying to Be Tried in Mexican Court

September 05, 2002|KARIMA A. HAYNES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Mexican national wanted in a 1997 fatal shooting at a Glendale restaurant faces prosecution on a murder charge in a Mexican court based on evidence gathered by Glendale police investigators, authorities said Wednesday.

Adrian Ramirez Gutierrez, who was arrested on a provisional arrest warrant issued by the U.S. attorney's office, is being held in a Mexico City prison, said Glendale Robbery-Homicide Det. Mike Toledo.

Mexican authorities initially declined extradition because Mexico does not extradite its citizens to the U.S. to face criminal charges that could result in life imprisonment or the death penalty, Toledo said.

United States authorities, however, invoked a section of the Mexican federal penal code that provides for prosecution of Mexican citizens using evidence collected by foreign governments, Toledo said. The murder charge could bring a sentence of one to 60 years under Mexican law.

Ramirez Gutierrez, 33, is accused of shooting to death an acquaintance, Jose Catalan, during an argument in December 1997 outside the Taco Naco restaurant in Glendale, Toledo said.

Ramirez Gutierrez fled to Mexico shortly after the shooting, Toledo said.

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