Man convicted of murdering volunteer gets 25 years-to-life

Edwin Gutierrez was found guilty of killing veteran Dionel Ramirez.

Edwin Gutierrez was found guilty of killing veteran Dionel Ramirez. (9/7/16)

RIVERHEAD - A man convicted of murdering a food pantry volunteer from North Amityville was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Wednesday.

Edwin Gutierrez, 49, had been found guilty of running down veteran Dionel Ramirez, 69, in a botched carjacking at a North Bay Shore 7-Eleven parking lot in December 2014.

Ramirez's family said he was collecting food from the convenience store to give to the homeless.

Judge William Condon tore into Gutierrez at the sentencing.

"You have committed murder," Condon said. "And that poor man, who was just trying to deliver stale donuts to the hungry, which he did on a daily basis, lost his life. And Mrs. Ramirez lost her husband. And his children lost their father."

Gutierrez read a letter to the court in which he apologized. He called the killing an accident and argued that it was a case of manslaughter, not murder.

"You think this is manslaughter?" the judge responded. "Well, I guess you've been doing some studying in the jail library. It's not manslaughter — it's murder."

Ramirez's widow, Blanca Ramirez, said after the sentencing that she was relieved to see Gutierrez get the maximum sentence. She also praised her husband's charity work.

"This is my man," she said. "My beautiful man."

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