A house painter was bent on getting revenge on a TV sportscaster over a failed business deal and should be convicted of premeditated attempted murder for ambushing and shooting the victim at least three times, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
A defense attorney countered that his client didn’t form the specific intent to kill and was under the influence of a barrage of prescription medications.
In her closing argument, Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Zipp told a jury that Mike Montana “mechanically tried to kill Kyle Kraska” on Feb. 10, 2015, as Kraska got in his car to leave for work about 3 p.m.[contextly_sidebar id=”4G58xCuc7c2bX8yKjgHguGDSin3UtIsW”]
Kraska, the sports director at CBS News 8, had hired Montana in October 2014 to paint the exterior of his Scripps Ranch home home for $3,000.
The victim said Montana walked off the job when Kraska refused to give him more money than the original $800 down payment. Kraska said he had agreed to pay Montana the remaining $2,200 when the job was complete.
About a week before the shooting, Montana left a note under Kraska’s doormat that read, “It’s in your best interest to pay me the money that you owe me,” according to the victim.
The day of the attack, Montana waited for Kraska to get in his car, then walked up to the vehicle and shot out tires, fired into the engine, and shot Kraska at least three times, the prosecutor said.
“He (Montana) was so angry … so focused on getting revenge on Kyle Kraska,” Zipp told the jury.
Montana fired 11 shots in all, with 10 hitting the car, according to the prosecutor.
“The shooting was carried out in an orderly way,” Zipp said. “He almost killed him.”
Defense attorney Richard Jayakumar told the jury that Montana, who is also charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle, was intoxicated from a barrage of prescription medications that he began taking after two back surgeries dating back to 2011.
Montana, 55, is charged separately with making threats against two other people, including an employee at a Department of Motor Vehicles office.
Zipp said Montana went to the DMV office in Poway in 2014 and argued with the employee over a fee that he tried to ger her to waive.
The defendant then tried to go to another window, but the employee told him he could not do that. Montana told the employee that he could do whatever he wanted and that he would go home and get a machine gun and blow everyone up, Zipp alleged.
Montana is also charged with leaving threatening voicemail messages at the San Diego Rowing Club in late 2012 after being asked him not to ride his Jet Ski through an annual regatta in Mission Bay.
The defendant faces nearly 38 years to life in prison if convicted.
–City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: