Jealous ex-boyfriend Zachariah Anderson is convicted of love rival’s murder
Jealous ex-boyfriend Zachariah Anderson has been convicted of murdering his love rival Rosalio Gutierrez Jr in a brutal 2020 slaying where he stalked the victim, beat him to death at his home and then disposed of his body.
Anderson, a 42-year-old father-of-three, was found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide, hiding a corpse and stalking in Wisconsin’s Kenosha County Circuit Court on Wednesday.
He showed no emotion as the verdict was read out in court following 10 hours of jury deliberations.
He now faces life in prison at his sentencing on 16 May – almost exactly three years to the day that his victim was last seen alive.
Guttierez’s family members – who had attended the trial dressed in Chicago Cubs gear in memory of the fan – hailed the verdict outside the courthouse.
“I’m eternally grateful. My husband, family and I – Rosalio – finally has justice,” said Gutierrez’s mother Selia Patterson.
The verdict came after a dramatic trial in which Anderson was accused of trying to influence his teenage daughter as she testified against him – while he decided against taking the stand in his own defence.
Gutierrez was last seen alive on 17 May 2020 before he vanished from his apartment in Wood Creek, Kenosha.
His body has never been found.
At the time, Gutierrez, 40, was dating Sadie Beacham – Anderson’s former girlfriend and the mother of his three children.
Prosecutors said that Anderson was jealous of the new relationship and had been stalking his love rival and his former partner.
This jealousy culminated in Anderson turning up at Gutierrez’s apartment and brutally killing him with blunt force on the evening of 17 May, prosecutors said.
He then disposed of Gutierrez’s body in an unknown location.
Two days later, a concerned Ms Beacham visited Guttierez’s home to check on him after she couldn’t get in touch with him.
When she arrived, she discovered the patio door open and blood on the floor, furniture and ceiling of the home.
An area rug was also missing from the property, she told investigators.
Ms Beacham contacted police who carried out a welfare check inside Gutierrez’s home.
Inside, investigators found large amounts of blood and signs of a struggle, according to a criminal complaint.
The victim’s body has never been found but investigators were certain he is dead based on the sheer volume of blood found inside his apartment.
Investigators closed in on Anderson as Ms Beacham revealed that she believed her ex was tracking her movements.
The morning after Gutierrez was last seen alive, surveillance footage captured Anderson going to a local WalMart where he bought garbage bags, latex gloves and bleach wipes. He also bought cans of sardines.
Then, on the day Guttierez’s death was discovered, officers found burn pits smoldering at both Anderson’s home and his farm, with the remains of a bleach bottle and the killer’s clothing among the ashes.
Guttierez’s DNA was also found inside Anderson’s work van and there was evidence that the interior had been scrubbed with bleach. Parts of the vehicle’s interior carpet had also been removed.
Bizarrely, two opened and uneaten cans of sardines were also discovered under the front passenger seat.
Four days after Guttierez’s disappearance, Anderson was arrested and charged with two felony counts of stalking.
That December, he was then also hit with charges of homicide and hiding a corpse.
For the next three years, Anderson denied any involvement in his love rival’s death.
His conviction comes at the end of a dramatic trial where one of his own children took the stand to testify against him and the judge admitted he had “lost control”.
On 15 March, Anderson’s 15-year-old daughter took the stand to testify that her father had asked her to spy on her mother and that he would “frequently” bring up Guttierez when she saw him.
Then, on 24 April – less than one month before the murder – Anderson also allegedly took his daughter with him to spy on the couple. Anderson also went through Gutierrez’s truck and took photos of the vehicle’s licence plate and registration, she said.
“He said something about showing him who the man was, and I didn’t quite understand, but you kind of caught onto things that my dad was referring to or was implying,” she said.
“My dad said to me, he said ‘I may just watch him or follow him to his house one time just for the fun of it.’ Those were his exact words to me.”
During her testimony, Anderson appeared to send a signal warning his teenage daughter to stop talking.
Anderson was seen putting his hand to his mouth and clamping his lips shut as he stared at his 15-year-old daughter on the witness stand in Kenosha County Circuit Court.
Prosecutors accused the defendant of signalling to his daughter as she testified. Meanwhile, the defence also accused Ms Beacham of using sign language to communicate with her daughter on the stand.
In another bizarre incident in the courtroom, Judge Bruce Schroeder was heard making an outburst when he learned that the subpoena for a witness had expired.
“Oh, for crumb’s sake!” he exclaimed.
The visibly frustrated judge then added: “I feel like I’ve lost control.”