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Fourth man sentenced in Willmar birthday party brawl

Stanley Gutierrez

WILLMAR — A 27-year-old Willmar man was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for his role in a brawl last year at a child's birthday party that sent one of the victims to the hospital with a severe head injury.

Stanley Gutierrez pleaded guilty in July in Kandiyohi County District Court to felony third-degree assault in connection with the fight, which happened in September 2016 at a Willmar home where a child's birthday party was being hosted.

Judge Michael Thompson also sentenced Gutierrez to a concurrent one-year term in jail for assault in the fifth degree, a gross misdemeanor.

Additional charges of assault in the second degree, riot in the second degree and assault in the fifth degree were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

According to court records, Gutierrez was among five men who showed up uninvited at the party on Sept. 2 of last year. A confrontation developed that turned physical. One man ended up hospitalized with bleeding in the brain after being hit on the head with a ball hitch. Gutierrez allegedly participated in the fight by kicking and hitting the man.

Video footage of the brawl, recorded by bystanders, helped Willmar police piece together the sequence of events.

Five men in all were criminally charged in connection with the fight. With Gutierrez's sentencing Monday, four are now serving time in either jail or prison.

Juan Jose Guerrero Jr. is serving 36 months in prison for second-degree assault. Junior Contreras-Landa was ordered to serve 180 days in jail and also received a five-year stay on a 21-month prison sentence. Alejandro Jesus Guerrero is serving 180 days in jail as well.

The final defendant, Anthony Contreras, is awaiting sentencing.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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