|Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
|For Immediate Release
October 28th, 2005
Media Relations Spokesperson
(714) 347-8405 Office
(714) 323-4486 Cell
Santa Ana – Deborah Perna, 49, of Buena Park, was convicted today 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. Anthony Navarro, Gerardo Lopez, Armando Macias, and Alberto Martinez have also been charged with this murder but have not yet been tried.
The evidence produced at Perna’s trial was that on October 2, 2002, 44-year old David Montemayor, a married father of three, was kidnapped by three men at his Rancho Dominguez business. Perna, the office manager of the company, believed that her brother was stealing from their family business and wanted him out of the way. She had also learned that their father, Peter Montemayor, was planning to turn control of the company over to David. Perna asked her secretary, Edelmira Corona, to ask her friend Navarro to kill David in exchange for several thousand dollars in cash that the victim was believed to be storing at his home. Navarro recruited Lopez, Macias and Martinez, three lower level members of his gang, to kidnap and kill Montemayor.
After kidnapping Montemayor, the hired killers 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 vehicle. Macias and Lopez shot Montemayor in the head and killed him. Martinez, Macias and Lopez fled the scene and were involved in a televised police chase during rush hour. Police eventually stopped the vehicle and all three defendants were taken into custody.
“It is hard to believe anyone would be as callous as to want her own flesh and blood murdered for money,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Wagner.
Perna will be sentenced on December 9, 2005, in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, 700 Civic Center Drive W., Santa Ana, CA 92701. Macias, Martinez, and Navarro have been charged separately for the murder of David Montemayor and the Orange County District Attorney will be seeking the death penalty for the three. The trial date for the death penalty case is currently set for October 31, 2005, in Department C-45. Lopez is scheduled for trial on November 14, 2005. Corona pled guilty to manslaughter in March of 2004, and faces a maximum sentence of 22 years in state prison. Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Wagner in the District Attorney’s Gang Unit is prosecuting the cases.