Following the tragic shooting of Sam Sadruddin at the Z.P. Mart (Sam’s Store) located on SH 105 at South Walker Road on Monday, March 24, 2014, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit identified a 13-year-old male as one of the two actors believed to have committed the offense.
Monday morning the Montgomery County Attorney’s Office obtained a finding of probable cause from the Juvenile Court with respect to that 13-year-old males role in the murder. County Attorney J.D,. Lambright, in conjunction with his Juvenile prosecution attorney’s Marc Brumberger and Amanda Hill, will be determining whether to charge the juvenile with capital murder.
Because the child is under 14-years of age, he is not eligible to be certified as an adult to stand trial in criminal court. Whether charged with murder, felony murder, or capital murder, the greatest sentence the juvenile can face is a 40-year determinate sentence. Under a determinate sentence, the child would begin serving his time in the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, (formerly the Texas Youth Commission). Sometime before the juvenile’s 19th birthday, the Juvenile Court would determine whether he should be discharged, released onto parole, or made to continue serving out the remainder of his sentence in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The Montgomery County Attorney’s Office will reach it’s decision on how to charge the case after consulting with Sam Sadruddin’s family.
The child who cannot be identified due to his age appeared for his determination hearing Monday morning amid heavy guard. The child has been in the juvenile system for some time. Lambright said he has a very strong case against the juvenile. After the homicide the juvenile began talking about the crime which brought it to the attention of law enforcement.
In November of 2013 he stole a Mustang and the next afternoon led police on a chase which started near the intersection of Drowsey Pine and Hilltop. With three occupants in the vehicle it sped down Highline Drive to Crockett Martin then up to SH 105 at which time DPS joined in the pursuit. The vehicle reached speeds of close to 80 mph before overheating and shutting down at the Community Center in Security.
According to the County attorney, J.D, Lambright, 19-year-old Joseph Raziel Gutierrez has also been involved in the juvenile system extensively and as early as last year was arrested for assault on a family member. Gutierrez remains in the Montgomery County Jail charged with capital murder by terror threat or other felony. He remains in custody with no bond set.
Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon’s Office will be prosecuting Gutierrez. Ligon said at this time options are open for life without parole or the death sentence but they have not yet determined which route to take as the case remains under investigation.
Ligon said it is to early to speculate a motive and they are continuing to look to the community for any additional information.
Ligon also said the case has was filed in the 221st District Court with Judge Lisa Michalk presiding. He said, “Judge Michalk runs a very, very efficient docket. She tries cases timely, and the cases get processed like they should so people in custody get their options or get their day in court and the public kind of relies on it.” He said he expected to resolve this case within a year.