|For Immediate Release
December 14, 2005
|Contact:||Susan Kang Schroeder
Deputy District Attorney
(714) 347-8408 Office
(714) 292-2718 Cell
GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF EXECUTING ORANGE COUNTY BUSINESSMAN AND FATHER OF THREE
*SUSPECTS INVOLVED IN HIGH-SPEED CHASE AT TIME OF ARREST.
SANTA ANA – Today, an Orange County jury of six men and six women found gang member Gerardo Lopez, 20, of Pacoima, guilty of executing David Montemayor, 44, of Buena Park, a married father of three, on October 2, 2002 in a Santa Ana Superior Court. The jury also found true that the murder was committed to benefit his street gang, in the course of kidnapping and attempted robbery, and a firearm was used in its commission. Lopez will be sentenced on February 3, 2006 and could be sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
Anthony Navarro, Armando Macias and Alberto Martinez have also been charged with this murder and will go to trial later in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, 700 Civic Center Drive W., Santa Ana, CA 92701. They are facing the death penalty.
Last month, Deborah Perna, 49, of Buena Park, was convicted of first-degree, special circumstance murder during an attempted robbery. She faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole on February 17, 2006, in Department C-45. Perna, the victim’s sister and the office manager of the family business, believed that her brother was stealing from their company and wanted him out of the way. She had also learned that their father was planning to turn control of the company over to Montemayer. Perna asked her secretary, Edelmira Corona, to ask her friend Navarro to kill the victim in exchange for several thousand dollars in cash that she believed Montemayer was storing at his home. Corona pled guilty to manslaughter in March, 2004 and faces up to 22 years in state prison.
In this case, the evidence showed that Lopez was recruited by Navarro with Macias and Martinez to kidnap and kill Montemayor at the victim’s Rancho Dominguez business. Lopez committed these crimes to benefit his gang. He kidnapped and drove the victim towards his home in Buena Park to get the money. About a mile from the residence, Montemayor got out of the car and ran away from the car. Lopez shot Montemayor in the head and murdered him. Lopez, Martinez, and Macias fled the scene and were involved in a televised police chase during rush hour.