What began as a plot to uncover stashes of money ended with the death of a man over nothing: no money at all. Instead, Debbie Perna is rotting in prison on a life term after engineering the gang murder of her brother, David Montemayor, a man brave enough to run away from his captors so they couldn’t take him home and threaten his wife and children.
Perna told the gangsters that if they killed her brother, they’d get paid with cash stuffed in coffee cans. Turns out that was a rumor. No cash. Just orphans and a widow. Murder of a sibling dates back to the old testament. It’s either jealousy, greed or a combination of both. In either event, the person charged with arranging the murder has a right to due process, no matter what the freaks and weirdos who post their comments say about it. Perna could have, theoretically, had mental problems that affected her judgment. A good lawyer would explore mental defenses, particularly in a capital murder case.
To qualify for the death penalty instead of just life in prison without the possibility of parole, special circumstances need to be present. Some special circumstances include felony murder, murdering a peace officer, prosecutor or judge or multiple murders, among others. If you are convicted of murder with special circumstances, you will be on Death Row for years before being executed. If you are sentenced to murder without special circumstances, you will have to spend your life in prison. Whether you live in Santa Ana, Irvine or Anaheim, if you are charged with murder, call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you.