Police: Wife's relationship with victim sparked homicide - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Police: Wife's relationship with victim sparked Savannah tire store homicide

Emmanuel Perez in court Emmanuel Perez in court

A business owner gunned down in front of his shop, and police say the motive was one of the oldest in the world, a woman.

Hunter Army Airfield Sergeant Emmanuel Perez, 31, was in court Thursday, charged with murdering Armando Montes – a 31-year-old father of two and co-owner of Brothers Tire on Savannah's White Bluff Road.

Until Thursday, police hadn't released a motive for the crime.

In a preliminary hearing in Chatham County Recorder's Court, veteran homicide Detective Jonathan Puhala testified Montes' relationship with Perez's wife sparked the violence.

Puhala said Perez came home on the morning of April 23 and found his wife on the phone with Montes. He said that sent the soldier into a rage, smashing his phone and breaking a ring that Montes had given his wife. He said Perez drove to Brothers Tire to find Montes, that he wasn't there, but that Perez came back about an hour and a half later. There was a confrontation, Puhala testified.

"During the argument, Mr. Montes said something to the effect of 'Just do it,'" Puhala said. "And that's when Mr. Perez fired one shot to the left side of his head. And when he fell, he emptied the magazine into Mr. Montes' back."

Eleven gunshot wounds were found in Montes' back. Gunpowder residue was found on his temple, indicating the first shot had come at nearly point-blank range.

Puhala testified that Perez drove immediately to a Hunter Army Airfield military police office, turned in his military badge and patches and said, "I just killed someone."

The case was bound up to Superior Court.

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