Montevallo shooting suspect seeks youthful status

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A 19-year-old Birmingham man who has been charged in connection with a January 2014 shooting in Montevallo and a 2013 armed robbery in Alabaster is seeking youthful offender status on the charges, according to Shelby County Circuit Court records.

Gutierrez

Gutierrez

A public defender attorney for Kevin Valladares Gutierrez, who lists an address on Pinson Valley Parkway in Birmingham, has submitted a youthful offender application for the suspect. Circuit Court Judge Dan Reeves is scheduled to make a decision on the youthful offender application during a March 23 hearing at 8:30 a.m. in the Shelby County Courthouse.

If granted youthful offender status, Gutierrez would face a less severe range of punishment, and his court file would no longer be public record.

The youthful offender application came about seven months after Reeves denied a request to reduce Gutierrez’ bond.

A Shelby County grand jury in May 2014 indicted Gutierrez on two felony counts of first-degree robbery and one felony count of first-degree assault stemming from the Montevallo shooting and October 2013 armed robbery in Alabaster.

In the Montevallo incident, Gutierrez and 19-year-old Montevallo resident Terry Christopher Searcy allegedly were attempting to steal marijuana from a man living in the Falcon Manor Apartments when Gutierrez allegedly shot and seriously injured Helena native Lauren George, who was in the apartment.

During the Alabaster incident, Gutierrez, Searcy and 23-year-old Helena resident Michael Antonio Laforty allegedly stole marijuana from an Alabaster man while Gutierrez was armed with a revolver. No injuries were reported in the Oct. 31 incident, according to court documents.

Gutierrez and Searcy have remained in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $150,000 and $180,000, respectively, since their January arrests and Laforty was released on a $60,000 bond in March.

Laforty has been indicted on one count of first-degree robbery and is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on April 28 at 8:30 a.m.

Searcy has been indicted on three first-degree robbery charges and one first-degree assault charge, and is set to appear in court for a hearing on April 27 at 8:30 a.m.