Murder suspect posts bail

WATSONVILLE — A Watsonville man who allegedly shot and killed a fleeing burglary suspect outside his residence in June was released from Santa Cruz County Jail after posting bail, jail records showed.

Eli Gutierrez, 26, was charged with murder in December. He also faces charges for possession of a semi-automatic weapon, along with several sentencing enhancements. He was being held in lieu of $1 million bail until he posted 10 percent of that total.

He is scheduled for a Sept. 23 preliminary hearing.

The incident occurred June 30 when Dominic Quintana, 32, and Louis Ledesma, 49, allegedly broke into a residence on the 100 block of Lawrence Avenue — which reportedly was an illegal marijuana dispensary — to steal cash and pot.

As they fled, Gutierrez opened fire with a gun, striking Quintana in his driveway, police said.

That’s when Ledesma allegedly opened fire with a handgun. During the gun battle, Ledesma and Quintana dropped their haul.

Police found Quintana bleeding from multiple gunshots in the front yard of a home. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ledesma fled and led Watsonville Police on a foot chase across the athletic field at nearby Rolling Hills Middle School, which flanks Holm Road. As one officer closed in, Ledesma spun around and brandished a handgun, but a fast-acting officer slapped the gun out of his hand, police said.

Ledesma has been charged with first-degree burglary, conspiracy, carrying a concealed weapon, attempted murder of a police officer and gang charges.

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