WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC4) — A West Valley Man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to the murder of local woman Angela Montoya.

In July of 2019, according to charging documents, Jayson Chase, 42, shot and killed Montoya, who was sitting in the back seat of a Cadillac with him. Chase also shot a 15-year-old boy who was in the back seat with them and shot and injured the driver. Chase then reportedly called the police and said that someone was chasing him with a gun. When questioned about Montoya, he said the 15-year-old boy was the one who shot her, police records state.

Chase was charged in 2019, and pleaded guilty on Friday, Feb. 24, to the following charges:

  • One count of aggravated murder
  • Two counts of attempted aggravated murder
  • One count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person

During the sentencing hearing, the courts heard from Angela Montoya’s family members, including Scott Montoya, her father. Scott Montoya submitted a letter to the court, which was read aloud.

“Angela Montoya was my daughter. I love and miss her with all my heart. I keep thinking it’s not real, it has to be a dream,” Scott Montoya said. “But this is no dream. It’s real. A living nightmare I cannot wake up from. Her life was taken, murdered for no intelligible reason by Mr. Chase.”

According to police records, Chase has faced numerous charges over the years, dating back to 1999. He has been arrested on charges of drug possession, obstructing justice, domestic violence in the presence of a child, and possession of a dangerous weapon.

“Chase is a career criminal who has been in the justice system for years. And yet again, arrested and released on personal recognizance only days prior to murdering my daughter,” Scott Montoya said. “Even more disturbing is […] Chase tried blaming a child that was not only one of his victims; he was also supposed to be this child’s guardian.”

Scott Montoya continued, indicating that Chase should be given life in prison without parole. “He has absolutely no regard for humanity, justice, or truth and deserves to be removed from society without the freedom to be able to have him do this to another family.”

The rest of Angela Montoya’s family spoke, including her sister, her aunt, and her mother. Angela’s mother, Cindy Montoya, addressed the suspect directly. She said that while she forgives him, he should never get out of prison because “he doesn’t show any remorse.”

Chase’s attorney apologized to the Montoya family for all the pain her client has caused. 

The state asked the judge to sentence Chase to life in prison without parole because they said he is a career criminal, blamed the murder on the 15-year-old, and injured multiple people in the process of murdering Angela Montoya.

The state said they still have no motive for the murder, and that the public needs to be protected from someone like him. They concluded that he should receive multiple life sentences, so he never has a chance of parole. 

After hearing from witnesses and the state, Judge Todd Shaughnessy spoke to Chase about the murder and attempted murders.

“Based on the totality of the crimes, and aggravating circumstances, this was a brutal, cold-blooded, execution-style murder of Angela Montoya,” Shaughnessy said. “She was a young woman and mother of three who did absolutely nothing to you.”

He said that according to the trial testimony, Angela was a complete stranger who never even spoke to Chase, but just had the misfortune of being seated next to him in the car that night. Shaughnessy also spoke to Chase about his crimes against the teen.

“You also shot a helpless 15-year-old. This was a young man who did not have a father figure in his life and […] you said [he] viewed you as that father figure,” Shaughnessy said. “And for that, you not only shot him but you groundlessly claimed that it was actually him that fired the shot and not you. “

Shaughnessy continued, stating that Chase has shown little to no remorse for these actions, and has taken no accountability. Shaughnessy also included that Chase has an extensive criminal history.

“You have spent time in Utah and federal prison including for violent crimes. You at one time were Salt Lake Metro Gang Unit’s public enemy #1. You have failed multiple times on probation and parole, you have a history of violent tendencies,” Shaughnessy said. “You are 42 years old, you are not a young man at this point in your life — there is no question you should know right from wrong.”

The judge sentenced Chase to life in prison without parole on one count of aggravated murder and sentenced him to two more consecutive life sentences for the two counts of attempted aggravated murder.