Ruben Gutierrez, Texas

Updated: Monday, August 5, 2019 11:42 am EST

Ruben Gutierrez was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas.  Ruben's execution date was removed from the online execution calendar at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, without comment.  His execution has been rescheduled to Wednesday, October 30, 2019.  Forty-two-year-old Ruben is convicted of murdering 85-year-old Escolastica Harrison on September 5, 1998, in her Brownsville, Texas mobile home. Ruben has spent the last 20 years of his life on Texas’ death row.

Ruben was born in Florida and dropped out of school after the eighth grade. Before going to prison, he worked as a fork lift operator and a laborer.

On the evening of September 5, 1998, Ruben Gutierrez and Rene Gracia entered the mobil home and office of Escolastica Harrison, the owner of a mobile home park. After entering, with the intention of robbing the safe, Escolastica was struck on the head.

The intruders had hoped to incapacitate Escolastica by making her unconscious, however, she was not knocked unconscious and struggled against the intruders. They struck her on the head multiple times with their fists and steel-toed shoes. She was also stabbed multiple times with two screwdrivers. Escolastica’s cheekbones were broken and she received severe brain damage, resulting in her death. Ruben and Rene fled the office with at lest $56,000 in cash.

Ruben was convicted and sentenced to death on May 14, 1999. Ruben has contested his death sentence by arguing that there is no evidence that directly links him to Escolastica’s death. Ruben has admitted to helping plan the robbery, but denies participating in the murder. Rene, who was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, pointed to Ruben as the killer.


Ruben was scheduled to be executed on September 12, 2018, however his execution was stayed by a federal judge with the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals. Approximately one month before his execution, Ruben was assigned new legal representation because his former lawyer claimed she did not have the expertise to handle the case and she was not longer allowed to practice before the 5th Circuit Court of appeals due to previous rude behavior towards court staff. Prior to the 2018 execution, Ruben was also asking that his execution be halted to allow time for additional DNA testing on evidence which had not previously been tested.


The execution warrant for Ruben's July 31, 2019, execution was withdrawn, leading to his execution to be rescheduled to Wednesday, October 30, 2019.


Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Escolastica Harrison. Please pray for strength for the family of Ruben Gutierrez. Please pray that if Ruben is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided prior to his execution. Please pray that Ruben may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.


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