Man who carjacked, murdered 2 Visalia men in Las Vegas sentenced

Officer Jesus M. Magdelano -- 33 years old, 8 year vet with CHP and 3 yrs in the Visalia Area, Patrol officer and officer safety training officer. (California Highway Patrol Visalia Area)

James Montgomery, who previously pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree murder, has been sentenced to 20-years to life for the carjacking attempt that killed Visalia CHP officer Jesus Magdelano and his brother-in-law Felix Brandon Cruz in August 2013.

The men were killed during a carjacking that started outside the Flamingo Hotel. Cruz was loading luggage into Magdelano's truck when James Montgomery jumped behind the wheel and sped away with Cruz still in the truck bed. Magdelano chased the truck and eventually got onto the truck bed to help. Montgomery drove about three miles before he ran a red light, collided with an SUV and a pole, throwing both men off the truck.

Magdelano was killed in the accident. Cruz died later in a Las Vegas hospital.

Several days later the community showed their support and respect to the two men's families, as the bodies were driven home to Visalia. What was meant to be a small law enforcement escort grew into motorcade miles long. About a hundred local law enforcement cruisers and emergency vehicles joined the escort to drive the families and the two men's bodies to Miller's funeral home.
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