San Francisco man found guilty of murder in 2009 Tenderloin stabbing

A San Francisco man was found guilty of murder Friday in connection with a 2009 incident at a Tenderloin hotel, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Alex Herrera, 56, was convicted of the Sept. 10, 2009 killing in the Vincent Hotel in which John Montgomery, 37, was stabbed to death.

According to the District Attorney's Office, Herrera and Montgomery were involved in a dispute over the drug methadone, which Montgomery supposedly owed to Herrera.

About 12:30 p.m. the day of the killing, Herrera went to Montgomery's room and demanded payment for the methadone, District Attorney's Office spokesman Maxwell Szabo said in a statement. Montgomery's girlfriend, Candace Thomas, refused and slammed the door in Herrera's face.

Montgomery and Thomas then decided that Thomas would take the methadone down to the street so it could be sold, Szabo said. On her way down the stairs of the hotel, she bumped into Herrera as he was on his way up to Montgomery's room.

She paused and listened from the landing and heard her boyfriend say, “She has the dope downstairs,” and then continued down the stairs to the lobby.

A few minutes later, Montgomery joined her in the lobby and he was bleeding profusely, Szabo said.

Thomas helped Montgomery to the sidewalk and laid him down.

Not long after, Herrera emerged from the hotel and Thomas shouted after him, “you hurt my husband, you hurt my husband.” Herrera said he didn't care and walked west on Turk Street away from the scene. He was arrested after traveling less than a block, Szabo said.

The Medical Examiner's Office said Montgomery sustained 10 wounds from a sharp instrument. A knife capable of administering those types of wounds was found behind the hotel beneath Herrera's window. Montgomery's DNA was found on the knife.

Witnesses at the scene told police they saw the attack and that Herrera had stabbed Montgomery numerous times, including in the arm, shoulder and back.

District Attorney George Gascón said he was pleased justice was served in securing a guilty verdict but lamented the effect drug abuse can have on people's lives.

“It's saddening that a man lost his life over drugs,” he said. “The victim's family will never be the same.”

Alex HerreraBay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsMurder in the first degreeSan Francisco District Attorney's Office

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