A jury late last week found a 56-year-old man guilty of the stabbing murder of another man at a residential hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood in 2009, prosecutors said today.
On Friday, the jury convicted San Francisco resident Alex Herrera, who was 51 at the time of the killing, of first-degree murder for the stabbing death of 37-year-old John Montgomery on Sept. 10, 2009.
Montgomery was in his room at the Vincent Hotel at 459 Turk St. around 12:30 p.m. when Herrera went into his room and demanded methadone Montgomery allegedly owed to him, according to the district attorney’s office.
Montgomery and Herrera lived in separate rooms at the hotel and had an ongoing drug dispute, prosecutors said.
The Vincent Hotel provides homeless housing and is run by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic.
The victim’s girlfriend refused to give up the drugs and slammed the door, according to the district attorney’s office.
After that, Montgomery’s girlfriend tried to sneak out of the hotel with methadone concealed on her in an attempt to sell the drugs. After she arrived at the building’s lobby, Montgomery came down the stairs as well and was bleeding profusely, prosecutors said.
Herrera had apparently gone back to Montgomery’s room and stabbed him after he was told that Montgomery’s girlfriend had taken the drugs downstairs.
As Montgomery was bleeding on the sidewalk outside the hotel, Herrera exited the building and encountered Montgomery with his girlfriend kneeling over him, prosecutors said.
Herrera allegedly spoke briefly and walked past the couple and another man helping the bleeding Montgomery and continued west on Turk Street. He was found about 10 minutes later about a block and a half away and was arrested.
According to the district attorney’s office, Montgomery was stabbed 10 times in the arm, shoulder and back.
He was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. A stab wound to his back was the fatal blow, prosecutors said.
The knife was later found behind the hotel, beneath Herrera’s window with Montgomery’s DNA on the knife, according to the district attorney’s office.
Before the fatal stabbing, Herrera had a prior conviction for robbery in San Francisco. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 5.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News