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Man accused of killing Charlotte woman dies in hospital

Jimmy Estes, accused by police of killing his girlfriend and then trying to commit suicide by driving his car into a truck, died Thursday night of his injuries, according to Carolinas Medical Center.

Estes, 51, of Fort Mill, had faced a murder charge in connection with Sunday’s slaying of Frances Gutnick, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

The body of Gutnick, 52, was discovered about 11 p.m. Sunday by her daughter at Gutnick’s home off the 7000 block of Buckland Road. That is near the Catawba River in southwest Mecklenburg County.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police identified Estes as a suspect in the case, but before they could find him, Estes was seriously injured in a wreck about 2 p.m. Monday on U.S. 21 in York County, near Gold Hill Road. The York County Sheriff’s Office said Estes’ car slammed into a truck carrying scrap metal, knocking the truck on its side.

Estes was taken to Carolinas Medical Center with broken bones and a serious head injury. Police detectives said evidence indicated that Estes tried to commit suicide by vehicle.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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