BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — After pleading no contest to DUI and hit-and-run charges, Esteban Valdez Gutierrez agreed to show up for sentencing if the court released him to settle his affairs before a lengthy stay behind bars.
Granted release, he chose to run instead.
Gutierrez fled to Mexico the day of his May 2020 sentencing for a crash that left a woman headed to Bible study class in a vegetative state. U.S. Marshals located him in Tijuana 18 months later and returned him to Bakersfield.
On Friday, Gutierrez, 39, pleaded no contest to failing to appear for sentencing, and an additional two years and eight months will be added to the 12-year, eight-month prison term imposed for the crash.
Sentencing is scheduled Dec. 1.
During Friday’s hearing, Gutierrez was inattentive, looking toward the audience and asking the judge to repeat himself.
Before he pleaded no contest, the judge asked him if he had any questions.
Gutierrez smiled and started speaking, but Judge Brian M. McNamara told him to talk privately with his attorney. After a brief discussion, Gutierrez said he had no questions.
The morning of Dec. 1, 2016, Gutierrez ran a red light as he drove south on Calloway Drive, hitting Jourdan Farnsworth’s car as she turned into the parking lot of Riverlakes Community Church. He ran and was arrested shortly afterward.
Farnsworth suffered devastating injuries and requires 24-hour care. She spent days in a coma and, will require lifelong care. She can’t feed, clean or dress herself.
In February, Gutierrez pleaded no contest to DUI causing bodily injury and hit and run causing permanent serious injury.
Gutierrez has prior convictions for possession of drugs or alcohol while an inmate, driving without a license and drunk and disorderly conduct, according to court records. He has an alias of “Psycho,” records state.