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Woman gets 14 years in O.C. murder-for-hire case

A woman was sentenced Tuesday to 14 years in state prison for her role in recruiting a gang member to kill her co-worker's brother in an Orange County murder-for-hire conspiracy, authorities said.

Edelmira Corona, 34, who lived in Pico Rivera, testified against several co-defendents charged in the 2002 slaying of David Montemayor, the Orange County district attorney's office said. Corona pleaded guilty in March to a manslaughter count.

Prosecutors alleged that Corona and Montemayor’s sister Deborah Perna, 54, solicited the help of 44-year-old gang member Anthony Navarro of Canyon Country to kill Montemayor.

Perna was jealous that her father intended to pass control of the family company to her brother, who she believed was stealing from the business, prosecutors said.

Navarro recruited three other gang members in the scheme, prosecutors said.

On Oct. 2, 2002, the three gang members kidnapped Montemayor at the family business in Rancho Dominguez and drove to his home in Buena Park, where they were told he kept thousands of dollars in cash, prosecutors said.

On the way, Montemayor managed to escape from the car. But one of the gang members shot him in the head as he fled, prosecutors said.

Another gang member fired at Montemayor before they fled in their car, triggering a police chase, authorities said.

Police eventually stopped the vehicle and arrested the three gang members.

Perna was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, prosecutors said. Navarro also was convicted of murder and was sentenced to receive the death penalty.

The other three gang members were all convicted of murder. Two were sentenced to receive the death penalty and the other to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


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— Robert J. Lopez


Photo: Edelmira Corona. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office

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