Local shelters react to alleged domestic violence murder


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- A Lexington man accused of beating his estranged wife to death with a baseball bat pleaded not guilty today.

No bond for Jose Rivera.

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He’s accused in the death of Karina Gutierrez who had a domestic violence order out against him at the time of her death, yesterday.

All this comes in October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

After hearing the news that another woman’s life had allegedly been taken by the hands of domestic violence,Green House17, a domestic abuse shelter in Lexington, posted this on their Facebook page.

The comment reads, “As the sun comes up over our emergency shelter we are taking a moment to reflect on news of another domestic homicide in our community. We remain vigilant in our mission to end intimate partner abuse and will nurture lives harmed until that day comes.”

Staff at the shelter say they were moved to write the post after hearing the news of Karina Gutierrez’s death especially given that this month is national domestic violence awareness month.

“It always takes your breath. You know it’s never easy and you always have to go back to the table and think what could we have done different? Is there something the community needs to do different,” said Diane Fleet with Green House17.

Staff here say over the past year,20 women in Kentucky alone were killed as a result of domestic violence.

According to court documents, Gutierrez had obtained a protective order against her estranged husband, something staff say is a common first step of getting out of an abusive relationship.

“When we’re looking in Fayette County, there’s about 1200 protective orders that are filed every year. The vast amount of people get out of domestic violence situations at some point safely without a lethality,” said Fleet.

Staff say that doesn’t make deaths like this any easier and say they will continue to learn and work harder to better protect victims from such violence.

“And so I hope that you know the loss of Karina might help us make decisions as a community on how to better support families in the future,” said Fleet.

For more information and links to domestic violence resources head to https://greenhouse17.org/.