A 43-year-old career criminal was arraigned Thursday in Circuit Court for allegedly killing a man who was providing security for a Palolo market two months ago.
At his arraignment conducted via closed circuit video from Oahu Community Correctional Center, Wilbur Gutierrez entered a plea of not guilty on charges of second-degree murder, using a firearm to commit the murder, robbery, being a felon in possession of a firearm and carrying a firearm without a permit.
Circuit Court Judge Dexter Del Rosario will preside over his trial, which begin Oct. 12.
He is being held at Halawa Correctional Facility on an outstanding bench warrant. Bail for the latest violations was set at $1 million.
Gutierrez was indicted by an Oahu grand jury Aug. 5. The murder charge carries a mandatory penalty of life in prison with the possibility for release on parole.
However, the prosecutor’s office said because Gutierrez is being charged with more than one felony and has prior felony convictions, he may be eligible for extended sentencing and could be sentenced to life in prison with no parole.
Police arrested Gutierrez on June 23 and he was later charged with shooting 44-year-old Keni Pologa.
Gutierrez allegedly entered New Valley Store on June 20 and demanded money from the store operator.
Pologa, who was outside with three other men, entered the store and confronted Gutierrez, who then pulled out a gun. Gutierrez then shot Pologa in the chest, prosecutors said.
Gutierrez was sentenced in 2009 to 10 years in prison on a firearm charge and five-year prison terms to be served at the same time for multiple drug charges.
Gutierrez was paroled in July 2012.