Luke Lampers, 41, a transient, was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Lampers shot a man at an Anaheim motel and also kidnapped an ex-girlfriend and held her against her will while fleeing from the police.
Lampers was found guilty of killing Douglas Navarro, then 49-years-old, in 2017 when he also kidnapped Lampers’ estranged girlfriend, Brianne Deese.
Navarro’s mother submitted a written statement to the jury in Lampers’ trial that described watching her only son being gunned down and then spending a week hiding in fear as police searched for Lampers.
Navarro said in her statement that “Maybe now I can come to terms with it. I miss my son every day. The hurt never goes away.”
Lampers chose not to say anything to Orange County Superior Court Judge Patrick H. Donahue prior to his sentencing.
Lampers was described in court as a “jealous, controlling and possessive” boyfriend who on one occasion pointed a pistol at Deese during a heated argument. Deese left Lampers about a week before her kidnapping, and he had spent the time “obsessively” calling and texting her and trying to find out where she was staying, according to the prosecutors.
Lampers finally tracked down Deese at the Crystal Inn, a motel on Lincoln Avenue near Brookhurst Street. Lampers then kicked the room door open, kicked open a bathroom door, pointed a pistol at Deese and screamed “We’re leaving,” then dragged her by her hair all the way back to his car.
Deese however convinced Lampers to return to the Crystal Inn so that she could pick up her cell phone and makeup bag. By the time they arrived back at the motel a half hour after the initial break-in, there were several onlookers gathered by the broken door, including Navarro and his mother.
Deese was allowed to go into the room to pick up her items but the bystanders did not allow Lampers into the motel room since it didn’t belong to him. Deese then allegedly told some members of the crowd that she didn’t want to leave with Lampers.
Lampers began to get agitated and eventually began to wave a semi-automatic pistol around. When Navarro told him that he should put the gun away and leave and that he wasn’t going to take Deese, Lampers shot Navarro in the chest.
Lampers’ defense attorneys had previously argued that Lampers shot Navarro in self-defense. They described Navarro as a “career criminal,” and alleged that Navarro had watched the initial kidnapping and done nothing. When Lampers returned, the defense lawyers alleged that Navarro got a “facsimile weapon” from his car and then tried to rob Lampers of $200.
After the shooting, Lampers told Deese that she had made him murder somebody, as he forced her out of the motel room and into his vehicle.
Lampers took Deese to to motels in the Los Angeles and San Diego areas as he remained on the lam. Deese later said that she was afraid to escape because Lampers was threatening to kill her and/or her family. She also told police that he had spoken of crossing the Mexican border.
Deese finally escaped by telling a drug dealer that was selling heroin to Lampers that Lampers had murdered someone and kidnapped her. That drug dealer then contacted Deese’s family to let them know that she was in San Diego. The police finally, after a week-long manhunt, found Lampers and shot and wounded him as he ran from a motel in Old Town San Diego.