The trial for 24-year-old Hutchinson man scheduled to begin Tuesday has been continued once again, after the head of the public defenders office re-assigned the case to one of the attorney’s in her office.
Kelly Driscoll with the Regional Public Defenders Office now represents Salvador Araujo-Gutierrez and made the request for the continuance saying her client wants to call a witness on his behalf who’s apparently in Mexico. They apparently can’t make it here this week. She says they also want to call a couple of other witnesses that would testify for the defense. Driscoll also wants an independent expert to examine the DNA evidence from the KBI.
District Attorney Keith Schroeder objected saying they had been told last month that the reason given for the continuance then by Sarah Sweet-McKinnon was because she hasn’t been able to talk with her client because he was housed in the Butler County Jail. Schroeder says the defendant has been in the Reno County Jail for the past week and there is no indication that anyone from the Public Defenders Office has been to see him. Driscoll indicated to the court that she has seen him several times.
Judge Tim Chambers granted the motion stating that this is a Jessica’s Law case that could mean life in prison. However, he did indicate that there won’t be anymore continuances using these reasons, including the argument that the defense DNA expert hasn’t had enough time to look over the evidence.
No knew date was set, but that could come next week when they will review of the status of a DNA expert for the defense examining the evidence in the case.
Araujo-Gutierrez is accused of the alleged sexual abuse of a young girl occurring over a period of time starting in 2006, with the last occurring back in 2011. The incidents occurring when the child was first 7-years-old and continued till she was 11. All of the charges are Jessica’s Law charges meaning that Araujo-Gutierrez could be looking at multiple life sentences.
We’ll let you know when the trial is reset.