Plainfield woman gets 52 years for 2007 murder of boyfriend

July 1

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced today that a judge sentenced a Plainfield woman to 52 years in prison for gunning down her former boyfriend in Plainfield in 2007.

A jury in March found Gabriela Escutia, 25, guilty in the shooting death of Javier Barrios on Oct. 28, 2007 near a Plainfield Meijer store. Escutia, who was eligible for between 45 years and life in prison, was sentenced on Tuesday afternoon by Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes.

Escutia arranged to meet Barrios near the Meijer store, and she brought her current boyfriend, Ricardo Gutierrez, 26, and an unidentified female with her. 

Escutia ambushed Barrios and shot him once in the side. She admitted to police and on the witness stand that she would have shot him a second time had her gun not jammed. Barrios, who was mortally wounded when the bullet pierced his heart, fled the vehicle and collapsed face-forward in a field near the shopping center.

Gutierrez, who took the gun after Escutia cleared the jammed bullet, chased the victim, stood over Barrios and shot him twice in the back of the head. After the shooting, the defendant and co-defendant went to see the horror movie Saw IV. In July 2013, Gutierrez was sentenced to 68 years in prison.

Escutia’s lawyers said she shot Barrios because she had been battered by him. The jury, however, found her guilty. 

“Gabriela Escutia is not a battered woman,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “She is ruthless and manipulative killer who orchestrated a hit on Javier Barrios.  Only a jammed gun prevented her from carrying out this execution on her own. She and her partner will spend what amounts to the rest of their lives in prison for gunning down a defenseless man in an act of cold-blooded betrayal.”

Glasgow credited his prosecutors for expert trial work that secured a conviction and sentence.  He also thanked the Plainfield Police Department for its first-rate investigation in this case.