John Gumina blamed his wife for her own brutal murder, saying she had hurt “his pride and honor”
John Gumina pleaded guilty to the killing of his wife, Heather Gumina, in a courtroom filled with her family and friends. The husband also pled guilty to two separate incidents of felony domestic violence against the woman. The press release details the consistent record of violence in their relationship.
It notes that in January of 2019, months before the murder, he tackled her to the ground, before kicking in the locked bathroom where she and her 4-year-old child were hiding.
She called the police regarding that incident, which led to Gumina getting arrested and charged with felony domestic violence. He was released from custody shortly after.
The pair reconciled and married the following month.
“Then, on July 15, 2019, while the January domestic violence incident was still pending, Gumina broke Heather-Waters’s collarbone,” the press release states. The district attorney’s office noted that she didn’t call 911 this time. Instead, she texted her mother while in the hospital that Gumina “tried to kill me” by strangling her over and over until she almost passed out.
The next morning, after she was released from the hospital, “Gumina and Heather argued in front of Heather’s mother about her broken collarbone and how that would look to the District Attorney in Gumina’s pending case,” according to the press release.
“After her mother left, Gumina killed Heather in cold blood,” the district attorney’s office states. “Right after the murder, Gumina called Heather’s mother proclaiming that Heather took off and was missing, executing his plot to attempt to cover up his crime.”
Gumina gave a statement in court this week during his guilty plea, explaining that he “slammed her down onto the floor” and used his forearm to hold “Heather’s right arm over her head by pressing down on her throat and arm at the same time” until she stopped breathing.
“He admitted he then put a rope around her neck to help move her out of the house. Gumina blamed Heather for her own brutal murder, saying she had hurt “his pride and honor,” the press release states.
A little more than seven weeks after the murder, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Detectives found Gumina-Waters’ body buried several feet in the dirt on a nearby property, wrapped in carpet and with a noose around her neck. “She was still wearing her hospital ID bracelet, smock and sling” from the prior incident of domestic violence. Gumina is scheduled to be sentenced to 30 years to life on Sept. 3.
Earlier this month, the El Dorado Sheriff’s Department said in a press release that they found new evidence in the murder which resulted in the arrest of Justin Kremer, 40. He has been charged with accessory to murder. Investigators have not released how Kremer knew the victim or her husband.
“At this time, no further details are being released regarding Kremer’s involvement,” the sheriff’s department told Oxygen.com via email earlier this month.
Heather had three children, who were ages 4, 10 and 14 when she died. She worked as a waitress and her former boss said she tried to work despite being injured.
“I called her and talked to her and she’s like, “I can still come to work.’ And I’m like, ‘You can’t come to work with a broken collarbone,’” Jennette Waldow said.
“My daughter was one of the most giving, loyal people I’ve ever known,” her mother Joanna Russel previously said. “I’m going to grieve for a very long time. It’s like the world’s worst nightmare.
Floyd Levinson | Contributed
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