The teen accused of shooting his younger brother could serve up to 5 years in a youth correctional facility. Daniel Gudino is accused of shooting his little brother, 9-year-old Ulysses Gudino.
At the sentencing hearing on Wednesday afternoon, Daniel pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, which was a new development in the case. For that count, the judge said Daniel will serve two years. For the other counts, he was sentenced to five years with a mandatory time of three years. Time will be served at the same time.
When the guilty verdict was handed down in early March, the jury was deadlocked on the most serious charge of first degree murder for killing 9-year-old Ulysses. Daniel was found guilty of assault, prohibited use of a weapon, and illegal discharge of a weapon for shooting Ulysses. Daniel was also found guilty of attempted first degree murder against his mother. The trial lasted for a month.
The family's attorney, Daphne Burlingame, tells 11 News that the family didn't want to go on camera on the day the guilty verdict was handed down. She says, "The family is disappointed with the verdict, but really looking forward to moving on. Everybody is a little sad. This has been a difficult time for them and they're very thankful for their family and friends and all the support they've had. They're really looking forward to moving on with their life."
"We're happy. We're pleased," said Chief Deputy District Attorney Shannon Gerhart, Thursday. "It was a very difficult case, very challenging involving a juvenile homicide. We are very pleased that the jury took so much time in making their decision."
The defense argued the suspect was having a psychotic episode in which he was not conscious or aware of his actions at the time of the killing. The defense also told jurors the suspect was shooting at the "visions" that had been haunting him for five years.
Prosecutors argued that the young teen knew what he was doing when he killed his brother and tried to kill his mother, Marina Gudino, in the family's Briargate home in 2009.
During the trial a doctor fielded questions from the jury, read by the judge, about the mental state of the suspect and whether he showed outward signs of mental illness.
Marina Gudino cried as she told jurors that she knew something was not right with her son on the day of the murder and that he often told her the house was haunted. He had been on an anti-depressant, but she took him off of the drug for fear that he would become addicted.
The trial lasted for weeks, and was very emotional at times. The court was forced to take a recess at one point after Marina saw pictures of her dead son.
It was May 18, 2009 when Ulysses was shot and killed while he was in bed. According to Detective Derek Graham, who took the stand at the beginning of the trial, Marina Gudino says she woke her oldest two children up for middle school that day.
"Coming home to your house wrapped in crime scene tape was a shock," neighbor Michael Dailey remembered Thursday.
Dailey told 11 News the neighborhood was stunned the day the crime unfolded.
"The children were all so well behaved, and then this happened," he said. "It just makes you wonder, what happened?"
While their mother was making them breakfast, the suspect began acting out, telling his mother he didn't want to go to school. Marina drove one of the children to school, and told the suspect to get his younger siblings up and be ready to go to second period when she got back.
Within about 10 minutes, according to Graham, Gudino says she returned home and started making breakfast for her other children. As she cooked, the suspect walked into the kitchen.
When she turned around, Marina Gudino says the suspect was pointing a gun at her. He shot at her twice, hitting her once in the arm. After shooting her, he started attacking her further with scissors and a knife as he repeatedly told her that he was sorry and needed help.
Graham said Gudino screamed for her other two children to get out of the house. The suspect then told her that he had already taken care of Ulysses by killing him. Marina Gudino called 911.
The jurors heard a recording of that 911 call, reportedly made from the kitchen of the family's home. During the call, Gudino can be heard saying, "He said he shot his brother." She told the dispatcher that her other son, the alleged shooter, was next to her.
A male voice is heard saying, "I'm sorry mom, I'm sorry. I love you," and "help me."
Another officer, Jim Stinson, took the stand to describe to jurors the bloody scene he came upon. According to Stinson, in the midst of a chaotic crime scene, the suspect walked out and said in front of officers, "I did it. I'm sorry."
A forensic psychiatrist who evaluated the suspect's mental heath was on the stand for two days. Under oath, Doctor John Hardy told jurors he believed the suspect was suffering from psychotic mental illness the night before the shooting and in the days and months leading up to it. He said the suspect also showed symptoms of sleep disorder and may have been suffering from that at the time of the shooting.
The defense also called upon the suspect's family doctor to testify. He told jurors that the suspect had several doctor visits prior to the alleged murder due to behavioral concerns. The doctor said under oath that the family had reported the suspect was having extreme mood swings, and was calling himself names. The doctor told jurors he had recommended that the suspect undergo a mental health evaluation more than year before the shooting.
Jurors also watched a taped interview of the suspect's younger sister. In the interview conducted by Kelly Schiffelbein, an investigator who specializes in child interviews, the suspect's sister revealed that it was her mother's screaming that woke her up on May 18, 2009. Thinking her mother was joking to get her out of bed for school, the sister went downstairs to find her mother bleeding from a gunshot wound. The sister told Schiffelbein in the interview that she also saw her brother after he had been shot.
Prior to the start of the one hour, 20 minute taped interview, Schiffelbein said on the witness stand that the sister told her "her brother shot her other brother in the nose." Schiffelbein told the jury that the statement was made in the back of an unmarked squad car at the scene.
Another Gudino brother was called to the stand by the prosecution. He described the suspect, his older brother, as his "best friend," but also recounted times when he believed his brother was possessed.
Doctor Ruth Kohlmeier, who performed an autopsy on the victim, testified that a rifle wound to the chest was the cause of death, and that death for the 9-year-old boy was not instantaneous.
According to our 11 News reporter, the suspect had trouble looking at the photographs of his brother that Dr. Kohlmeier showed, while his parents had to leave the room.
Administrators and teachers from Mountain Ridge Middle School also took the stand in the trial. Principal Joy Porter says the suspect missed more than 37 days of school during the 2008-2009 school year. The explanations for his lack of attendance ranged from an upset stomach to headaches. A school counselor talked about how she worked with the suspect and his parents to improve his attendance.
Despite their efforts, teachers who testified describe the suspect as a great kid, who kept to himself when he was at school. They said he preferred working alone, but always got his work done even if he had to work with other students. In fact, he was on the honor roll at Mountain Ridge.
The District Attorney's Office asked the court to consider trying the teen as an adult. But, the judge decided to try him as a juvenile.
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