Family files civil suit in funeral-home slaying
BY Advocate.com Editors
December 14 2002 1:00 AM ET
The family of a church worker who was allegedly killed by a gay former coworker because she expressed disapproval of his sexual orientation filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday against the coworker.
Nicholas Gutierrez, 19, is accused of killing Mary Stachowicz after an argument in which she questioned him about his sexual orientation. The two had worked together at the Sikorski Funeral Home in Chicago, and Gutierrez lived above the business. Gutierrez told police that the confrontation reminded him of his mother, making him angry. Stachowicz's stabbed and strangled body was discovered November 15 in the crawl space of Gutierrez's apartment.
Stachowicz's family is calling for unspecified damages, saying it wants to make sure Nicholas Gutierrez does not profit from the case with books or movies. "This has been a difficult and painful time for our family," said Peter Stachowicz, one of the 51-year-old woman's four adult children.
Timothy Cavanagh, who filed the civil suit on behalf of Stachowicz's husband, Jerry, said that in questioning Gutierrez about his sexual orientation, Stachowicz "was trying to help this man."
A grand jury has charged Gutierrez with first-degree murder, burglary, and concealment of a homicide. The charges do not address the Illinois hate-crimes statute, but that issue could come up during sentencing, according to the Cook County state's attorney's office. Some observers have said Stachowicz was killed because of her religious beliefs. A prearraignment hearing in the criminal case is set for Friday and a preliminary hearing is set for December 31.
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Media Legendary Gay Gossip Columnist Michael Musto Responds to Being Laid Off 2 hours 10 min ago
- Marriage Equality Vive la France! Hollande Signs Marriage Equality Bill 12:20 PM
- Photography Photos: Cuba Libre 5:29 AM
- Television These 20 Sexy Pics of Stephen Amell Will Hit Your Bullseye May 17 2013 9:00 PM
- Politics Portugal Approves Adoption Rights for Same-Sex Spouses May 17 2013 8:32 PM
- Pride S.F. Gay Couple Throw Fund-raiser for Trans Woman's Breast Implants May 17 2013 7:18 PM
- Marriage Equality WATCH: Marriage Equality a Big Story? Not on Fox News May 17 2013 7:18 PM