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Murder charge against Santa Fe youth dropped

November 28, 2018

District Attorney Marco Serna said Tuesday he will dismiss a murder charge against a 17-year-old Santa Fe boy, but the youth remains a suspect and could be charged again in the shooting death of a man from Michigan.

The defendant, Zachary Gutierrez, was charged in the killing of 64-year-old Richard Milan, who was shot in September while walking his dog near Airport Road.

Serna said his staff does not have time to present the case to a grand jury before a Dec. 13 deadline. Even so, Gutierrez remains a suspect in Milan’s death, Serna stated in an email.

Earlier this month, Serna told The New Mexican that the pursuit of an indictment against Gutierrez had been postponed because his office was reviewing new information. Neither he nor police would elaborate on the new information.

But Gutierrez’s attorney, Stephen Aarons, wrote on his website Tuesday that he had presented the prosecution with new video that, he says, “confirmed that Gutierrez was an innocent bystander, not the shooter.”

“We commend the prosecution and Santa Fe Police Detectives in reopening their investigation in light of new evidence,” Aarons wrote. “What is important now is to find the truth and prosecute the real shooter for this senseless murder.”

Serna said Gutierrez will remain incarcerated at a youth detention center until mid-December.

Milan, of Kalamazoo, Mich., was in Santa Fe visiting relatives when he was shot.

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