LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A judge in Lexington entered a ‘not guilty’ plea on behalf of Jose Rivera and appointed him a public defender Tuesday at his first court appearance since being arrested in connection to the beating death of his estranged wife.
He is charged with murder, assault and violation of a domestic violence order.
Rivera has a $20,000 cash bond on the assault and DVO violation charges, but no bond on the murder charge, so he remains in jail.
He is due back in court Monday, October 16.
Lexington Police say Rivera showed up at his estranged wife’s Codell Drive house, Karina Gutierrez, shortly after midnight Monday and beat her with a baseball bat. She later died at the hospital from a severe head injury, according to the Fayette County coroner. Police say Rivera also assaulted the couple’s teenage daughter.
He was arrested a short time later at his home on Butternut Hill Court, which is not far from the scene of the crime.