Woman Who Hired a Hit Man to Kill Her Brother Gets Life in Prison

Times Staff Writer

A Buena Park woman who hired a hit man to kill her brother so she could inherit the family business was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A jury convicted Deborah Perna, 49, of first-degree murder in October for arranging the 2002 killing of her 44-year-old brother, David Montemayor, who she believed was stealing from the business and about to take over with the retirement of their father.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. Feb. 19, 2006 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday February 19, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 2 inches; 68 words Type of Material: Correction
Murder sentence -- An article in Friday’s California section about a woman sentenced to life in prison without parole for arranging her brother’s murder contained inaccurate details. Deborah Perna did not tell murder defendant Anthony Navarro that her brother kept at least $10,000 in his house; she told that to another murder defendant. The story also said Navarro was present when Perna’s brother was kidnapped. He was not.

Perna, the office manager of the family’s Rancho Dominguez trucking business, asked her secretary to arrange for Anthony Navarro, a member of the Pacoima Flats street gang, to kill Montemayor in exchange for robbing him and keeping the cash.


Perna told Navarro that her brother kept at least $10,000 in cash at his Buena Park home.

After kidnapping Montemayor, Navarro and three other gang members he allegedly recruited for the job drove the victim to his home to retrieve the money.

Montemayor, a married father of three, was shot in the head and killed about a mile from his house after he broke free and tried to run.