Man admits to Findlay murder

A Findlay man pleaded guilty today to fatally shooting Joe Gutierrez III on a city street in November.
In a plea agreement, Ralph G. Harris III, 21, admitted to charges of murder, an unclassified felony; tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony; and four drug possession charges, all felonies, during a hearing in Hancock County Common Pleas Court.
Harris will be sentenced in October. He faces a range of 18 years to life in prison on the murder charge alone.
Gutierrez was shot several times at about 1:10 a.m. Nov. 8 while he was outside his vehicle at the intersection of East Foulke and Crystal avenues. He died from the bullet wounds within minutes, according to a coroner’s report.
Harris told Judge Joseph Niemeyer he fired at Gutierrez from inside a car.
Harris did not tell the judge why he shot Gutierrez. Prosecutor Mark Miller has said it was not a gang-related shooting.
As part of Harris’ plea negotiation, he provided a sworn statement to police about what happened and about his co-defendant, Montre Robinson. Harris agreed to testify against Robinson if needed.
Robinson, 21, of Findlay, is scheduled for an Oct. 14 trial. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges, including murder.

Courier reporter Ryan Dunn will have more on Wednesday.


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