A story for every victim

Norman David Benavidez, 41

Norman David Benavidez, a 41-year-old Latino, died Thursday, July 13, 2015, after he was  shot in the 200 block of North Second Street in Montebello, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Benavidez was in a vegetative state for more than a year before he died from an infection, according to coroner’s records.The autopsy report revealed that infection developed from complications after sustaining gunshot wounds in a home-invasion robbery in 2014. 

At the time of the attack, Benavidez was a drug dealer and was targeted by one of his clients, 22-year-old Aaron Salvador Gallardo, LAPD Det. Al Martinez said said. 

Prior to the attack, Gallardo ordered drugs, which he planned to steal with help from his stepfather, Paul Montanez, 38, and friend, Miguel Enrique Marques, 23, Martinez said.

About 9:00 a.m. on Feb., 4, 2015, the three men were invited into Benavidez’s apartment to get the drugs, Martinez said. Sometime during the exchange, Montanez attempted to strangle Benavidez. As the two men struggled, Gallardo shot Benavidez in the chest and leg,  Martinez said.

As the struggle moved to the kitchen, Marques, who brought zip ties, left the apartment and waited in the vehicle, according to Martinez.

As  Benavidez lay on his back, Montanez stabbed him in the chest with a steak knife and repeatedly stomped on his head, Martinez said. Gallardo and Montanez then returned to the vehicle and the three men left, Martinez added.

During the attack, Benavidez’s housemate called the police who arrived about 9:20 a.m., according to Martinez. The housemate also helped police identify Gallardo and Marques, who were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder the same day. The following day, Montanez was also arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

As Benavidez was treated for his wounds at Los Angeles County Medical Center, Det. Martinez said he was unable to speak or move. 

“When we tried to ask him questions, he had to point to letters with his eyes to make words. Or sometimes we had to rely on grunts for him to answer yes or no questions,” Martinez said. 

Benavidez was later taken to hospice care, where he died.

The three men, who originally faced counts of attempted murder at the time of the crime, were then charged with murder, according to a criminal complaint. They also face one count each of robbery, according to the complaint.

The three men are scheduled to return to court March 30, 2016.

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @jeromercampbell and @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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