Eddie Gutierrez
Eddie Gutierrez

A Hanover resident who stabbed a man in the abdomen -- causing the victim's internal organs to partially spill out of his body -- must spend at least nine years in prison.

On Monday morning, Common Pleas Judge Craig T. Trebilcock sentenced 47-year-old Eddie Gutierrez to nine to 18 years in state prison, according to senior deputy prosecutor Justin Kobeski.

Gutierrez also was ordered to pay more than $16,000 in restitution to victim Felito Rosario-Morales for the man's medical bills, Kobeski said.

The prosecutor said Gutierrez is no stranger to prison and that, in his past jail stints, he's usually ended up serving his maximum sentence. The prosecutor said his hope is that Gutierrez will serve his full 18 years for the 2011 stabbing.

Trial verdict: In February, a jury convicted Gutierrez of aggravated assault, simple assault and reckless endangerment, but acquitted him of attempted homicide.

Defense attorney Lori Yost declined comment.

Rosario-Morales, 34, of East Berlin, suffered a stab wound to the right side of his abdomen that was 8 inches deep and caused part of his colon to fall out of his body, according to Kobeski. Rosario-Morales has since recovered and testified against Gutierrez at trial.

"It was over money," Kobeski said, "which seems insane."

Fought over $200: At trial, each claimed the other owed him $200, he said.

The attack happened about 5:30 p.m. Feb. 18, 2011, at a hotel in Hanover's Center Square where both men were living at the time, according to court documents.

Much of the attack was caught on the hotel's surveillance video and showed both men in a hallway, documents state.

Gutierrez, known as "Cuba," pulled out a knife and Rosario-Morales fled down the hallway with Gutierrez in pursuit, Hanover Police said.

Both men left the view of the security camera momentarily, but both could later be seen on tape; Gutierrez was holding a knife and Rosario-Morales collapsed, police said.

Captured: Gutierrez fled the area and was captured the following week by U.S. marshals in Straban Township, Adams County, police said.

At trial, Gutierrez claimed he stabbed the victim in self-defense because Rosario-Morales had pulled a knife on him, according to Kobeski.

"The victim did have a knife on him, but it was folded up and in his pocket," the prosecutor said. "And he was walking away (from the altercation)."

-- Reach Elizabeth Evans at levans@yorkdispatch.com, 505-5429 or twitter.com/ydcrimetime.