GRAFTON -- An 18-year-old California woman suspected in the fatal stabbing of a Grafton man was charged with first degree intentional homicide Monday, May 6. The accused is Crystal Gutierrez, a high school student.
According to a criminal complaint, on Friday, May 3, around 2:30 a.m., a 911 call came in from a woman from California who reported she'd received a text from her daughter pleading for help -- texting the address of 902 Spring Street in Grafton (9th and Spring). Police began searching the area and found a young woman running, wearing only a T-shirt, covered in blood and screaming for help. This woman was identified as Gutierrez, and the complaint noted she was "highly distraught." She said she woke up, "family was standing around her" and she began stabbing Brent Fitch, 34, with scissors and a knife, and he was dead.
At the home, police found a blood trail beginning at the front door. Fitch was found lying face down on the floor in a bedroom.
Police initially said it was believed Gutierrez was in Grafton to meet or stay with Fitch.
An autopsy was being conducted Monday on Fitch at the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Grafton police said this was the first homicide in the village since 1982.
The Wisconsin State Crime Lab, Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division Criminal Investigation, and the Wisconsin State Patrol (Crime Scene Mapping Unit) were assisting the Grafton Police Department with their investigation.
Gutierrez appeared in Ozaukee County court on Monday for her initial appearance. She was ordered held on $100,00 cash bond. Her attorney said, "She is going to fight this charge. She is going to have counsel." Her attorney added, "There is a lot of indication Ms. Gutierrez is a victim and needs to start getting some mental health help."
Her parents flew in from California and were in court Monday, but didn't want to comment to the media.
If Gutierrez were to post bond, she was ordered to remain in Ozaukee County while the case is pending.
Gutierrez is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Friday, May 10.