Over five years after John Montgomery was stabbed to death at the Vincent Hotel at 459 Turk Street, justice has finally been served, the San Francisco District Attorney's office announced Friday.
Montgomery and his Vincent Hotel neighbor, Alex Herrera, were "heavily involved in drugs," DA's spokesperson Max Szabo says. The two men had been in a dispute over payment for methadone when on September 10, 2009, Herrera, Bay City News reports showed up at Montgomery's room demanding money for the drugs.
Montgomery's girlfriend, Candace Thomas, told Herrera to get lost, and headed out with the drugs on her person, with plans to sell it. She says she passed Herrera on the stairs as he headed back to speak with Montgomery again. A few minutes later, Montgomery came downstairs suffering from 10 stab wounds, and died shortly thereafter.
Meanwhile, Herrera left the Vincent Hotel (which, as noted at the time of the crime, is a rather large housing unit for the city's homeless population, run by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic) and was arrested less than a block away. A knife with Montgomery's DNA was found just outside Herrera's window, the DA's office says.
BCN reports that a jury found Herrera, who is now 56 years old, guilty of first-degree murder on July 11, 2014. On Friday he was sentenced to 51 years to life in prison.
“Due to the collective efforts of the Police Department and my office, this dangerous man is no longer on the streets of San Francisco,” DA George Gascon said in a statement Friday. “I am pleased that justice has been served for the victim’s family.”