Husband of missing California mom-of-three Heather Gumina is accused of killing her because she was ‘witness to a crime and he wanted to prevent her from testifying in court’
Criminal complaint says Heather Gumina ‘was a witness to a crime and was intentionally killed to prevent her from testifying in a criminal proceeding’
Her husband, Anthony Gumina, 44, was arrested on Friday and charged with homicide after her body was recovered following two-month search
Complaint does not specify the crime Heather had witnessed, but it could be referring to January incident where Gumina tackled her as she held her son
Heather was reported missing from her Placerville home on July 16
On July 23 Anthony filed for a restraining order against Heather, claiming in the petition that the pair had gotten into a brutal fight on the day she disappeared
Speaking to the media three weeks ago, Gumina insisted that he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance
Cops interviewed him several times and searched the couple’s home extensively
Anthony Gumina [right] is charged with the murder of his wife Heather Gumina Waters, [left], whose body was found last week, a month after she vanished
Prosecutors in California have revealed that a man allegedly killed his wife to stop her from testifying about a crime she had witnessed that possibly involved her toddler son.
The suspected motive in the death of Heather Gumina Waters, 33, emerged during her husband’s initial court appearance on Tuesday.
Anthony Gumina, 44, was arrested on Friday on a homicide charge, just hours after detectives recovered human remains believed to belong to his wife who had been missing for two months.
A criminal complaint accuses Gumina, 44, of killing his wife to stop her from testifying about a crime she had witnessed
During Gumina’s court appearance on Tuesday, the El Dorado County District Attorney presented a criminal complaint alleging that Heather Gumina ‘was a witness to a crime and was intentionally killed to prevent her from testifying in a criminal proceeding.’
Although the document does not specify the crime in question, it could be referring to a January incident in which Gumina allegedly tackled his wife while she held her four-year-old son in her arms, according to CBS13.
Anthony, a carpet fitter, insisted last month that he has been out looking for his wife ‘every day’ but the organizers of the official Heather Gumina search group said that he has not been involved with them.
The murder suspect had compiled a history of abuse against his wife.
Gumina, who has a history of violent offenses, had been the subject of a pending domestic violence case, due to go to trial this month, after he allegedly headbutted Heather during a vicious fight in January.
He was also allegedly removed phones from the house to prevent her from dialing 911. He was later charged with cruelty to a child by endangering their health.
In a criminal complaint filed in January, a probation violation report claims Gumina attacked Gumina Waters while she held her four-year-old son. Gumina was charged with “cruelty to a child by endangering their health.”
The most recent case accuses Gumina of breaking his wife’s collarbone. This happened the night before she went missing.
A blood test administered after his arrest showed that he had been under the influence of meth and opiates at the time.
The search for Heather came to a grim conclusion when what is believed to be her body was discovered in Pleasant Valley.
Her husband was initially arrested on an outstanding no-bail warrant for domestic violence, accusing him of breaking Heather’s collarbone on the eve of her disappearance.
‘Following the discovery, EDSO detectives arrested Anthony Gumina for homicide,’ officials announced in a Facebook post.
Heather, a mother of three, was reported missing from her Placerville home on July 16, the day after she was released from the hospital with a broken collarbone.
A week later, Anthony filed for a restraining order against Heather, claiming in the petition that the pair had gotten into a brutal fight on the day she disappeared.
During an exclusive interview three weeks ago, Anthony insisted that he had nothing to do with his wife’s disappearance – despite having been interviewed several times by police who searched his home for 30 hours.
‘We’re super sad about what happened and I don’t know if we’re ever going to be okay,’ Russel, 51, told FOX40. ‘I miss my daughter.’
Heather’s three children, a 14-year-old daughter and sons aged four and 13, have been looked after by relatives since their mother vanished.
‘My daughter was one of the most giving, loyal people I’ve ever known,’ Russel said. ‘I’m going to grieve for a very long time. It’s like the world’s worst nightmare.’
In the petition for a restraining order filed July 23, Anthony described the fight he and Heather allegedly had in front of her mother the day she disappeared.
He said Heather ‘punched me in the face [….] tried to tip wheelbarrow full of sand on my legs’.
Anthony, who married Heather on March 18, admitted that his marriage is in tatters but denied harming her and said he is praying for her to be found.
The 44-year-old, who is currently serving a five-year probation term after being convicted of burglary and witness intimidation in February 2017 for an incident in which he threatened to kill a former business associate and burn down his house, claimed that the headbutting incident was ‘a misunderstanding’ but also said she had called the cops in a deliberate attempt to have him sent back to jail.
Anthony said: ‘I want her to just show up and be OK and for everything to be alright. I didn’t do anything [to her]. I married her because I love her.
He added: ‘Look, this marriage is not going to work out but I would never do anything like this [harming her]. I’m a lover. I’m not that kind of guy.
‘The sheriffs [deputies] were here for like 30 hours doing an investigation. They took my car. They walked every piece of land so I’m cleaning up again and again and again and I’m dealing with my wife. I don’t deserve this.’
Kathy Schneider, 55, a close friend of Heather’s said: ‘We don’t hear from him much. We don’t hear from him. He’s not helping with the search efforts and he’s not in our search group.’
Friends described the mother-of-three as popular and devoted to her children but admitted she had had problems with substance abuse in the past.
Court records show she had several convictions for burglary and DUI but the 33-year-old had begun to turn her life around – proudly posting a letter confirming she had completed her probation on Facebook last August.
Smith said: ‘She’s an amazing mom, she’s devoted to her children. She’s quite popular and she has a lot of friends. Her mom misses her a lot.’
Although Gumina insisted that he was desperate for his wife of six months to be found, he also revealed that she had ongoing addiction problems and had ‘a dark side as well as a wife side.’
He said: ‘My wife had some problems, you know. I’m not sure of what she’s ever done – she’s had numerous marriages and similar kind of situations…
‘She’s got some of her own addiction problems and whatnot that she’s been dealing with for a long time.
‘I kind of got used to not knowing with my wife a little bit. I told her, whatever’s going on in your life, I want to know, I want to understand.
‘She has her dark side and then she has her wife side. I probably shouldn’t say much more than that out of respect for her.’
Gumina [left], had been arrested along with his father John [right] in June 2016, after he was found to have six guns, one of which was stolen, several high capacity magazines and a quantity of meth in his possession
Murder suspect Anthony Gumina allegedly killed his wife to stop her from testifying about a crime – prosecutors said
In June 2016, he was arrested along with his father John and was found to have six guns, one of which was stolen, several high capacity magazines and a quantity of meth in his possession.
The following February, he was sentenced to five years on probation after being convicted of drug possession, burglary and witness intimidation.
Court documents show his probation is currently suspended pending his trial on domestic violence charges.
He also faces a second violation hearing after a urine test showed meth and opiates in his system.
On Tuesday, Gumina accepted a public defender for his murder charge but will keep his original attorney for the previous domestic violence case on his record from January. He will be back in court on September 24th.