Anthony John Gumina pleaded guilty on Wednesday to the first-degree murder of his wife, Heather Gumina Waters, in 2019, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Anthony John Gumina also pleaded guilty to two counts of felony domestic violence against his wife.
His age is unclear.
Anthony Gumina reportedly blamed his deceased wife for hurting his pride and honour, officials said.
“He started, essentially, by trying to justify his actions,” said Cheryl Sommers, a family friend, and attorney for Heather’s family.
The district attorney’s office said investigators learned of previous incidents that provided a clearer picture of Anthony Gumina’s past abuse of his wife.
He was arrested and charged with domestic violence for allegedly tackling his wife to the ground and kicking in the locked bathroom door where she and her 4-year-old child were hiding on Jan. 31, 2019. Anthony Gumina was eventually released from custody and married Heather a month later, officials said.
On July 15, 2019, while the January domestic violence charge was still pending, Anthony Gumina reportedly broke Heather’s collarbone. According to the DA, Heather did not call 9-1-1 but texted her mother from the hospital, saying her husband “tried to kill me.” The next day, Heather was released from the hospital and got into an argument with her husband in front of her mother over his concern about how the broken collarbone would affect his pending case.
The district attorney’s office said that once Heather’s mother left that day, Anthony Gumina killed his wife “in cold blood.” He then called Heather’s mother and told her his wife retired and was missing.
“Why he was released, I honestly don’t know,” Sommers said.
Heather’s body was eventually found months later buried on a nearby property in Pleasant Valley. The DA said she was still wearing her hospital ID bracelet, smock, and sling while being treated for her broken collarbone.
Allison Kephart, a political advisor with WEAVE, says every judge determines whether the offence is worth keeping the offender behind bars.
“Ultimately, it’s the decision of the judge, and a prosecutor can advocate for one outcome or another, but it’s really in the hands of the judge,” Kephart said.
Anthony Gumina was then arrested. He now faces 30 years to life in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 3.
“I’m sure most people are asking this when they hear this story, ‘Why did she stay? Why didn’t she leave?” Sommers said. “And it’s just not that simple. She was trying to protect he family, her children.”