Man Admits Beating Co-Worker to Death Over Alleged Affair: Police

A California man admitted to authorities that he beat a co-worker to death over rumors of an affair with his wife, according to a report from Saturday.

Jose Gutierrez-Rosales, 49, is accused of killing his co-worker, Hector Javier Castaneda Vasquez, on April 18 while the two were working on irrigation pipes just outside of Bakersfield. He was arrested on April 28 after several witnesses spoke with investigators, KGET News reported.

Gutierrez-Rosales later told investigators that the attack was spurred on by rumors that Vasquez was having an affair with his wife. In particular, he cited the mockery of other co-workers as a motivating factor, stating that "they provoked all of this."

"We were there picking up the pipes," Gutierrez-Rosales reportedly explained. "I ate about two tacos, and I felt my body like strange, and then all of a sudden, I grabbed the pipe, and I just started going at him."

beaten to death over affair
A California man recently admitted to beating a co-worker to death over an alleged affair with his wife. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Gutierrez-Rosales reportedly shouted, "this is for getting involved with my family" at Vasquez while he beat him with a pipe. Vasquez was pronounced dead at the scene and suffered multiple facial fractures. He also sustained cuts to his face and the back of his head, and lost several teeth, according to a report viewed by KGET.

One witness reported seeing the man strike something multiple times from a distance. Unable to see Vasquez from their angle, the witness initially thought he might have been fending off a snake. Another witness nearby reportedly yelled for Gutierrez-Rosales to stop.

After the attack, Gutierrez-Rosales reportedly left the scene in his vehicle, eventually got out of it, and began walking to Bakersfield from the city of Taft, roughly 36 miles away from the town he had been working in. While walking, he said that he begged God for forgiveness and began cutting himself with a box cutter. He also claimed to have buried his cellphone near a vineyard after its battery died.

"I'm going to own up to it like a man," he said of his intentions at that time, stating that if he had wanted to keep running, he would have fled to Mexico.

Investigators with the Kern County Sheriff's Department have been unable to confirm whether or not Gutierrez-Rosales was actually married prior to killing Vasquez. In a report viewed by KGET, a woman with her name redacted was found to have recently been in a relationship with him for three months, but the pair had been separated months prior to the incident in April.

Newsweek reached out to the Kern County Sheriff's Department for comment.

In late 2021, it was reported that Kern County had the highest homicide rate in all of California from 2016 to 2020. In 2020, the rate was around 12.7 killings per 100,000 residents, according to CalMatters.