An Orem man is now facing the possibility of capital punishment in connection with the March 13 killing of a Provo man. If convicted Jesse William Gourdin, 21, has been charged with aggravated murder for allegedly shooting and killing Gustavo Ramirez. The charge is enhanced to a capital offense because the killing was gang-motivated and carried out with the help of other gang members. If convicted he could face the death penalty.
Three others have been charged in connection with the incident as well, although Gourdin remains the sole suspect charged with murder. Brayden Kenneth Marshall, 18, of Provo, Maria Guadalupe Hernandez, 18, of Sandy, and 34-year-old Eagle Mountain man Jerry Otis Hawley have all been charged with murder in connection with the same shooting. The charges allege they and Gourdin were to take a metal box filled with cash to recover a backpack Hernandez claimed belonged to her.
According to court documents the group of four drove to Ramirez's home in Provo on March 13, intending to rob him. Gourdin allegedly fired "several" shots, fatally wounding Ramirez, while Hawley, the alleged driver, waited in the car.
According to court documents Gourdin and Marshall wore bandanas over their faces as they tried to break into the home through the front door, but their efforts proved to be unsuccessful. Eventually the pair was able to force open the back door and ran inside. Upon entering, Gourdin fired several rounds from a handgun, killing Ramirez, while other occupants of the residence scrambled to find adequate cover.
Gourdin also allegedly fired several shots as they fled the residence. Hawley then allegedly drove the group to the home of Marshall, where they planned to hide and wait out the search for them. Ramirez was rushed to a nearby hospital by his girlfriend, but despite efforts to save his life, he was later pronounced dead. Investigators sent to the scene reportedly found no shortage of forensic evidence. Witness statements from those in the home at the time of the shooting also helped police identify the suspects involved with the shooting.
Marshall, Hernandez, and Hawley were all arrested two days after the shooting. Gourdin was arrested in Farmington the next day without incident. All remain behind bars at the Utah County Jail. Charges state that Gourdin had threatened to kill Marshall and Hernandez if they "ratted him out." Despite the threats, they eventually confessed to being involved in the incident in their respective capacities. They also admitted to knowing that there was money at the house, and had gone there with the intent of robbing those living there.
Gourdin and Marshall are also charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, both first-degree felonies. Hernandez and Hawley are charged with robbery, a first-degree felony and attempted burglary, a second-degree felony. Gourdin is additionally charged with two counts of retaliation against a witness, victim or informant, a third-degree felony, while Hernandez is charged with possession or use of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor. According to court documents, several of the charges are enhanced because of the gang related nature of the crime. The defendants in the case are either members or are associated with the Bloods street gang, while the victim and others inside the home are either members or associated with the Florencia gang.
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