Crime - Sacto 911

Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: What happened to man accused of killing girlfriend after big insurance settlement?

What ever happened to the Stephen Stowers murder case?

– Mrs. T., Sacramento

Stephen Stowers was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison for the execution-style slaying of his 19-year-old girlfriend, LaKisha Montue, whose body was discovered April 14, 1996, by a passing motorist along a stretch of Freeport Boulevard north of Meadowview Road.

According to stories in The Bee, the murder occurred after Montue received a $1.4 million insurance settlement from a car crash that killed her 17-month-old daughter.

Weeks after she started receiving the money, Montue left her home and family in Sacramento. She took her then 3-year-old son and moved to Las Vegas to live with Stowers’ mother.

Shortly before her murder, evidence showed, Montue completed a divorce from her husband, who was serving time in state prison, and signed a will making Stowers’ mother her sole life insurance beneficiary. Three days later, Montue was dead.

She reportedly was killed within 50 minutes after arriving in Sacramento on a red-eye flight from Las Vegas.

Although there was no evidence linking Stowers to the crime scene, his best friend testified that Stowers solicited him to murder Montue, but the friend refused to go along with the plan. The prosecutor said Stowers also made incriminating admissions to other inmates while in county jail.

Stowers, now 45, is incarcerated at California State Prison, Solano, in Vacaville.