Closing Arguments Made In '86 Rape, Murder Case

Eddie And Steve Montanez Accused In The Attack On Delores "Dodie" Attig

A Riverside County man led a group that robbed three people and raped and murdered a woman in a remote section of Balboa Park in 1986, a prosecutor told a jury Monday.

In her closing argument, Deputy District Attorney Jill Schall said Steve Montanez ordered his brother, 15-year-old stepson and another man to rape 36-year-old Delores "Dodie" Attig before he shot her once in the head the morning of June 19, 1986.

"He's the shooter," Schall said of Steve Montanez. "It doesn't let the others off the hook. There sits the shooter."

Schall said the 52-year-old Montanez, his younger brother, Eddie Montanez, 15-year-old Eddie Cabanyog and Richard Archuletta traveled from Coachella to Balboa Park, and targeted Attig and two male friends who were in the park, drinking, smoking and listening to music.

"They were looking for victims," Schall told the jury.

The male victims were thrown face-down into the ground and tied up, and Attig was dragged from a car, gang-raped and killed, the prosecutor said.

"They swarmed upon them," Schall said. "These three didn't have a chance."

DNA taken from the victim was saved, and subsequent advances in DNA allowed authorities to enter the information into California's DNA system in 2006 and a "hit" was made, identifying Archuletta as a suspect, the prosecutor said.

After his arrest in 2007, Eddie Montanez told police that his brother raped the victim and ordered the others to "have their turn" with her, according to Schall.

DNA was found on Steve Montanez, Cabanyog and Archuletta, but not Eddie Montanez, the prosecutor said.

Eddie Montanez, now 48, testified that he was scared of his older brother, so he stripped down to his underwear and faked having sex with the victim.

Schall said Attig was killed because she could identify her perpetrators.

"She could identify them. She had to go," the prosecutor told the jury.

But Jeff Martin, Steve Montanez's attorney, said the prosecution had not proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Martin urged the jury to disregard the testimony of Michael Stanton, one of the men who was robbed that night.

The attorney said Stanton was a "big doper" and "drunk" and changed his version of events a number of times.

"It's all just improbable," Martin said of Stanton's testimony.

The attorney said the DNA evidence in the case was "all messed up," with mislabelings and other errors.

Martin accused Eddie Montanez of trying to "weasel" out of something and had a motive to lie.

"Eddie Montanez wants to save his own skin," Martin told the jury, calling the defendant's story "preposterous."

Separate juries are hearing the cases against the Montanez brothers, who are charged with murder, rape and robbery and face special circumstance allegations which will mean a sentence of life in prison without parole if they're convicted.

The jury hearing Steve Montanez's case will begin deliberations on Tuesday, the same day closing arguments will begin in Eddie Montanez's case.

Archuletta was convicted of Attig's murder and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Cabanyog admitted all charges in Juvenile Court, was released from Juvenile Hall and was later convicted of carjacking and sentenced to eight years in prison.