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Manhattan man found guilty in run-over death of do-gooder

Edwin Gutierrez is seen at Suffolk County Court

Edwin Gutierrez is seen at Suffolk County Court in Riverhead on Dec. 18, 2014. Photo Credit: James Carbone

A Manhattan man was convicted Tuesday of killing a do-gooder by running him over with his own car as the victim collected doughnuts to take to a Bay Shore food pantry nearly two years ago.

A state Supreme Court jury in Riverhead found Edwin Gutierrez, 49, guilty of two counts of second-degree murder — one with depraved indifference, the other while committing another felony — in the death of Dionel Ramirez, 69, at a Bay Shore 7-Eleven in 2014.

The jury, which deliberated about half an hour, also convicted Gutierrez of first-degree robbery and third-degree attempted grand larceny.

“It was a big relief for us,” Michelle Ramirez, the victim’s daughter, said on Tuesday. “It was kind of difficult to stand in front of him and see him . . . It was just a senseless act. It was like why?”

Prosecutor Robert Biancavilla after court said the key to the conviction was the video from the 7-Eleven cameras.

“The exterior camera showed the entire incident from start to finish,” he said.

The 7-Eleven video caught Gutierrez arriving at the store about 4:30 a.m. the day after Thanksgiving, then trying but failing to steal the vehicle of another man in the parking lot.

He waited more than an hour for another target, which happened to be Ramirez, who had left his Hyundai running. When Ramirez saw what was happening, he ran and stood in front of his car and Gutierrez hit the gas, driving over Ramirez, authorities said.

According to Biancavilla, the defense said in court that Gutierrez did not know what he was doing because he was intoxicated.

But the prosecutor said the store’s inside video camera showed him asking for a phone to call a taxi, then stealing candy while the clerk’s back was turned. “It showed he had a conscious thought process,” Biancavilla said.

Gutierrez’s attorney could not be immediately reached Tuesday evening.

The victim, an Army veteran from Guatemala who lived in North Amityville, was a movie theater cleaner who picked up food several times a week to hand out to homeless people, his family said.

Michelle Ramirez said she, her mother and her sister will write a letter for the sentencing, but they plan to have someone else read it because they fear they’ll break down.

Since her father’s death, she said, the family has relied on each other.

“We have to support each other,” the victim’s daughter said. “So basically, if I’m down, I go to my mom. If my mom’s down, she comes to me. We just hold on to each other and just keep our heads up.”

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