Sacramento District Attorney's Office

05/14/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/14/2019 10:33

5.14.19: Defendants Convicted for Murder at Surf Motel

Defendants Convicted for Murder at Surf Motel

DATE: May 14, 2019

CASE: James Martin Baca & Rebecca Irene Temme (Case #17FE005228)

PROSECUTOR: Principal Criminal Attorney Caroline Park, Homicide Unit

James Martin Baca and Rebecca Irene Temme were convicted by a jury of the first-degree murder of Leonora Montoya with the special circumstance that the murder was committed during the commission of a robbery. Baca and Temme were also convicted of two counts of robbery. The jury found that Baca personally used a firearm in the course of the murder and robberies. Baca was also convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and his prior strike conviction for burglary was found true.

On March 19, 2017, the defendants met the victims in the North Sacramento area and drove to the Surf Motel for a tattoo. Upon entering the room, James Martin Baca pointed a gun at the victims and demanded their cell phones. The defendants also demanded Ms. Montoya's car keys. When Ms. Montoya didn't comply, Baca shot her. Both defendants then rummaged through Ms. Montoya's pockets, took her car keys and fled in her car. The defendants were later located in Redwood City. With the assistance of law enforcement agencies in Redwood City, Menlo Park, and CHP the defendants were apprehended after a vehicle and foot pursuit.

Baca's criminal history includes convictions for assault with a deadly weapon; possessing dangerous weapons; destroying or concealing evidence for the benefit of a street gang; battery against a peace officer; possession of dirk or dagger; threatening a public officer; and domestic violence.

Temme's criminal history includes convictions for battery upon a peace officer while in custody; aggravated battery while in custody; felony evading a peace officer; and felony vehicle theft.

Both defendants face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Sentencing is set for June 28, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. in Department 34 before the Honorable Ernest Sawtelle.

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