Transient Gets Life Without Parole for Motel Murder


bars of a cell in the Prison

Photo: Getty Images

SANTA ANA (CNS) - A 41-year-old transient was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole for gunning down a man at an Anaheim motel while kidnapping his own girlfriend.

Luke Theodore Lampers was found guilty Sept. 26, 2019, of first-degree murder, and jurors found true a special-circumstance allegation of killing during a kidnapping. His sentencing was delayed due to hiring a new attorney and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick Donahue tacked on an additional sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Lampers was convicted of killing 49-year-old Douglas Navarro on Jan. 11, 2017, at the Crystal Inn at 2123 W. Lincoln Ave.

His attorney at trial, Carlo Spiga, argued that Senior Deputy District Attorney Eric Scarbrough failed to prove that Lampers kidnapped Brianna Deese, whom he said was an addict who ``runs to who has drugs'' and had previously stayed with the defendant at the motel for eight days.

He suggested that prosecutors ``made the choice how they charged this case'' so the defense could not argue for a lesser-degree of murder or manslaughter or that the shooting was done in self-defense.

Spiga also pointed out that Navarro had a power drill tucked under his shirt when he confronted Lampers before the shooting.

A day before Navarro's killing, Lampers was seen by guests at the motel asking around for Deese because he ``needed to take her to rehab,'' according to testimony. The next day, Lampers was seen kicking in the motel room door where Deese was staying with another man and Lampers dragged her out, police testified.

Later, as a motel employee was trying to close the broken door with the help of Navarro, who was staying in the room, a tearful Deese was allowed in so that she could get her belongings, police testified.

Lampers got into an argument with Navarro, who left and returned a short time later, and continued arguing with Lampers, who shot the victim in the chest, according to testimony from police who went to the scene. As Lampers was dragging Deese away from the shooting scene, witnesses heard him tell her

``You made me murder someone,'' they said.

Lampers was arrested days later in San Diego, where police shot him while he was running from officers. Deese had called her father from a San Diego motel, where she said she had escaped from Lampers, leading police to where he was staying while on the lam, police said.


Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content