Crime - Sacto 911

Pair convicted of 2017 murder at Arden-Arcade motel are sentenced to life in prison

The man and woman convicted of a 2017 murder and robbery at the Surf Motel were sentenced Friday to life in prison without possibility of parole, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office said.

James Martin Baca, 39, and Rebecca Irene Temme, 36, were convicted by a jury May 14 of two counts of robbery and the first-degree murder of Leonora Montoya, according to a District Attorney’s Office press release.

Montoya, 53, was found dead of a gunshot wound to her head at the Surf Motel on Auburn Boulevard on March 19, 2017, after Sacramento County sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of gunshots.

Baca and Temme encountered Montoya at the motel where they arranged to get a tattoo, the press release said. When they entered the room, Baca pointed a gun at Montoya and one other victim, demanding their cellphones. The two also demanded Montoya’s car keys, and Baca shot her when she did not comply.

Baca and Temme fled in Montoya’s car but were later located in the Bay Area. Following a vehicle and foot pursuit with several law enforcement agencies assisting, they were arrested in Menlo Park the next day, prosecutors said.

Baca was also convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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Jaimie Ding, from Scripps College, is a local news reporter for The Sacramento Bee with an interest in politics and international relations. She grew up in Vancouver, Washington.