David Montemayor

Victim David Montemayor

Survivors:  Devoted  wife Susan and  three children beloved daughters Amy and Rachael and a son  

David Montemayor was  a heroic man who died  rather than expose his wife and children to danger at the hands of  gang members who had kidnapped him and ordered him to drive home,  where  the kidnappers thought  there was a lot of cash.  He was betrayed by a sister who solicited his murder, all for the control of a family business. Rather than risk the safety of his wife and children, David jumped out of the car in a desperate bid to get away and was shot once in the head on October 2, 2002.

It’s difficult to conceive of a more black-hearted crime than this having your own murdered for money,”  prosecutor Wagner said before the sentencing  of  Deborah Perna,

Until her arrest, Deborah Perna worked as the office manager at Interfreight Transport Co. in Compton. Her brother and their father, Pete Montemayor, operated the family business.

Perna asked her secretary, Edelmira Corona, to ask her friend, Anthony Navarro, an alleged gang member, to kill her brother in exchange for several thousand dollars in cash that the victim was believed to be storing at his home, Macaulay said.

Navarro recruited Gerardo Lopez, Armando Macias and Alberto Martinez,  gang members from the San Fernando Valley, who kidnapped Montemayor and drove him towards his home in Buena Park to get the money.

Lopez and Macias  shot Montemayor in the head, killing him, and the four fled. They were involved in a televised police chase before being caught and arrested.

Since his murder, David’s  wife and children  have been forced to endure the ordeal of multiple separate trials.

Susan Montemayor, the victim’s widow, attended the July 11, 2008 sentencing hearing of Anthony Navarro  who received the death penalty for hiring three  Pacoima Flats gang members to kill  David Montemayor. The death plot was masterminded by David’s  sister, Deborah Perna, who was sentenced to life without possibility of parole in February of 2006

During the victim impact testimony, Susan and her children  testified how their  lives had been forever changed by the murder of their beloved husband and father.

Susan described how  she had been a stay-at-home mom for the kids–who were 7, 9 and 11 at the time of the murder–and that her husband was the bread-winner. She said she became the head of the household from the moment detectives knocked on her door to deliver the news of her husband’s death. He had worked hard and looked forward to enjoying their golden years together. Now she feels duty-bound to be there for him at all the court hearings tied to the case.

Her children recalled being told of their father’s death by their mom and a priest. The youngest child did not know what that meant. The middle child talked of the difficulty of growing up without a father and the pain felt when friends talked about their dads. The oldest said her memory of her father is the cemetery where he is buried

Reporting on the capital trial of defendant Navarro, Orange County Register writer Larry Weldon wrote movingly about the testimony of  David’s family as they described what impact the loss of their husband and father had on their lives. 

In a courtroom so quiet you could hear yourself breathe, Susan Montemayor sat in the gallery with tears in her eyes as she watched her two teenage daughters testify about what it was like to lose their father.

Amy and Rachel Montemayor nervously talked about their lives before and after their dad, David Montemayor, was murdered on the streets of Buena Park on Oct. 2, 2002 when he tried to flee from kidnappers to prevent them from going to his home where his wife and children were getting ready for the day.

A key component of Deputy District Attorney Dan Wagner’s presentation of evidence in the penalty phase was the victim-impact testimony. The girls testified about what a funny, gregarious guy their Dad was. They said he liked joking, attending their softball games and going camping with his family.“We haven’t camped in years,” one of the daughters testified.

And then it was Susan’s turn on the witness stand. She has attended nearly every minute of every court hearing in the case since her husband was killed in 2002..“David made everything fun,” Susan said, fighting back tears. “He just enjoyed life. He never took anything serious.” Susan told  the court before the sentencing   that “not a day goes by that I don’t think of how he spent the last hours of his life in fear, attempting to escape before being shot down in the street.”

“I miss his laughter, his sense of humor, his compassion and his understanding,” Susan Montemayor said. “Nobody knows what the future holds, but I feel cheated from a future that should have been.”

By the time she was done, jurors were dabbing their eyes with tissues

 Gang members Navarro and Martinez received the death penalty. Defendant Lopez received life without possibility of parole  because  he was seventeen when he committed the crime.  The secretary middle person between Perna and Navarro pleaded guilty to manslaughter and agreed to testify against the others in exchange for the promise of a 14-year prison sentence.  The death penalty trial for defendant Macias is still pending.

It’s difficult to conceive of a more black-hearted crime than this having your own murdered for money,”  prosecutor Wagner said before the sentencing  of  Deborah Perna,

Until her arrest, Deborah Perna worked as the office manager at Interfreight Transport Co. in Compton. Her brother and their father, Pete Montemayor, operated the family business.

Perna asked her secretary, Edelmira Corona, to ask her friend, Anthony Navarro, an alleged gang member, to kill her brother in exchange for several thousand dollars in cash that the victim was believed to be storing at his home, Macaulay said.

Navarro recruited Gerardo Lopez, Armando Macias and Alberto Martinez,  gang members from the San Fernando Valley, who kidnapped Montemayor and drove him towards his home in Buena Park to get the money.

Lopez and Macias  shot Montemayor in the head, killing him, and the four fled. They were involved in a televised police chase before being caught and arrested.

Since his murder, David’s  wife and children  have been forced to endure the ordeal of multiple separate trials.

Susan Montemayor, the victim’s widow, attended the July 11, 2008 sentencing hearing of Anthony Navarro  who received the death penalty for hiring three  Pacoima Flats gang members to kill  David Montemayor. The death plot was masterminded by David’s  sister, Deborah Perna, who was sentenced to life without possibility of parole in February of 2006

During the victim impact testimony, Susan and her children  testified how their  lives had been forever changed by the murder of their beloved husband and father.

Susan described how  she had been a stay-at-home mom for the kids–who were 7, 9 and 11 at the time of the murder–and that her husband was the bread-winner. She said she became the head of the household from the moment detectives knocked on her door to deliver the news of her husband’s death. He had worked hard and looked forward to enjoying their golden years together. Now she feels duty-bound to be there for him at all the court hearings tied to the case.

Her children recalled being told of their father’s death by their mom and a priest. The youngest child did not know what that meant. The middle child talked of the difficulty of growing up without a father and the pain felt when friends talked about their dads. The oldest said her memory of her father is the cemetery where he is buried

Reporting on the capital trial of defendant Navarro, Orange County Register writer Larry Weldon wrote movingly about the testimony of  David’s family as they described what impact the loss of their husband and father had on their lives. 

In a courtroom so quiet you could hear yourself breathe, Susan Montemayor sat in the gallery with tears in her eyes as she watched her two teenage daughters testify about what it was like to lose their father.

Amy and Rachel Montemayor nervously talked about their lives before and after their dad, David Montemayor, was murdered on the streets of Buena Park on Oct. 2, 2002 when he tried to flee from kidnappers to prevent them from going to his home where his wife and children were getting ready for the day.

A key component of Deputy District Attorney Dan Wagner’s presentation of evidence in the penalty phase was the victim-impact testimony. The girls testified about what a funny, gregarious guy their Dad was. They said he liked joking, attending their softball games and going camping with his family.“We haven’t camped in years,” one of the daughters testified.

And then it was Susan’s turn on the witness stand. She has attended nearly every minute of every court hearing in the case since her husband was killed in 2002..“David made everything fun,” Susan said, fighting back tears. “He just enjoyed life. He never took anything serious.” Susan told  the court before the sentencing   that “not a day goes by that I don’t think of how he spent the last hours of his life in fear, attempting to escape before being shot down in the street.”

“I miss his laughter, his sense of humor, his compassion and his understanding,” Susan Montemayor said. “Nobody knows what the future holds, but I feel cheated from a future that should have been.”

By the time she was done, jurors were dabbing their eyes with tissues

 Gang members Navarro and Martinez received the death penalty. Defendant Lopez received life without possibility of parole  because  he was seventeen when he committed the crime.  The secretary middle person between Perna and Navarro pleaded guilty to manslaughter and agreed to testify against the others in exchange for the promise of a 14-year prison sentence.  The death penalty trial for defendant Macias is still pending.

4 Responses to David Montemayor

  1. Patricia says:

    When I heard of this recently I just didn’t believe it. David was the best ever!!!! Even when he lost his arm in the tractor acident, he took it in stride. I’m so sorry for your loss. Don’t see anything of Mary and Michael, but if you ever read this, please contact your Old friend. We have much to talk about. When I named your daughter Mary, I thought we would never lose contact EVER! Where are you now? Wish Pete was at the old house I would run there. Soo sooooo sorry. Now Mom Nora has her boy with her. God Bless you. To Susan and children, my deepest deepest sympathy!

  2. Becky Quintana Espino says:

    OMG..just got together with some Paramount high School girls and found this info out!! I went all thru high school with his sister Debbie Montemayor..COULD NOT BELIEVE THIS!!! WHY did this have to happen?? FOR MONEY??? REALLY?? GOD be with you Debbie.

  3. frankie haney says:

     Your husband loved his family more than his life. What a wise and devoted husband. He knew you and the children would be in danger if he brought those thugs to your home. He chose to give his life to prevent that. No greater love than a man lay down his life for you.

  4. Darilyn Jauregui says:

    I don’t know the family, but i watched a program with the whole story called Asesinatos en Familia. I can’t believe the sister would do something like this just for money.. what a dumb ass.. she diserved the death penalty, ojala y se pudra en la carcel por lo que iso.. No puedo creer que no tuvo consencia por sus sobrinos y aunque mil veses se arrepienta, nunca tendra justificasion lo que iso.. Lo siento mucho por la familia, ver este caso me conmovio mucho 🙁

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