The November shooting of 19-year-old Monica Bentley at the Motel 6 in South Davis will be reenacted on an episode of “America’s Most Wanted” set to air Apr. 26 at 9 p.m. on Fox.
The show will do a full re-enactment of the stalking and shooting that put Bentley in a wheelchair and nearly claimed her life.
“America’s Most Wanted” came to Davis two months ago to film exterior shots for the re-enactment and to conduct interviews.
“[The show] spent a lot of money on this,” said Ed Miller, a correspondent with the show. “It’s done with a full-fledged crew; they hire actors and a big-name director who has done a couple Mel Gibson movies.”
The show was originally only going to do a quick segment about the crime, but because the Davis police and the victim’s family gave the show in-depth access, the producers decided to expand it to a full re-enactment.
“The idea behind the show is to create millions of civilian helpers so criminals have no place to hide,” Miller said. “We try to tell stories and move people. If they’re moved, we have found that they’re far more likely to find the fugitive.”
The Sacramento State student met her attacker, Julio Cesar Guevara Mejia, when she was a 17-year-old high school student. She then began a four month relationship with the 36-year-old Honduran national which she subsequently ended several months later when her parents intervened. Mejia continued to try to see her – leaving her cards, roses and calling her incessantly.
“It started to get kind of weird – more violent, confronting her, following her,” said sergeant detective Scott Smith. “Her family got scared and moved across town.”
Bentley enrolled at Sacramento State and went about living the life of a normal college student. She hadn’t seen or heard from Mejia for over a year when she began a new relationship with a young man.
After going on one date, the two made plans to go to an art museum in San Francisco. The young man asked her to pick him up at Motel 6 in Davis where he said he stayed with his father the night before after a construction job in town.
When Bentley went to the room, she was not met by the young man she thought she was coming to see, but by her former stalker.
“When the door opened, he had a bouquet of roses in one hand and a .357 in the other,” Scott said. “It was going to be one way or the other.”
The two struggled outside the room before Mejia forced her in and shot her once in each ankle.
“He stood three feet away from her, aimed at her chest and pulled the trigger three times,” Scott said. “She is very lucky to be alive.”
Mejia then fled the scene in his car which he later abandoned and took off into the fields on foot.
He showed up at his relatives’ house in Palm Springs 13 days later. They gave him money and sent him to other relatives in Houston.
“The relatives in Houston have not been cooperative,” Scott said. “That is why we went to ‘America’s Most Wanted.'”
While Mejia remains at large, authorities caught the 16-year-old accomplice who lured Bentley to the motel. He was transferred to Yolo County and is currently awaiting a hearing set for May to determine if he will be tried as an adult.
With both ankles shattered and an injury to her spinal cord, Bentley is not likely to ever walk again. Her family has had to change their jobs and reschedule their lives to provide the 24-hour care Bentley needs, Scott said. Despite her challenges, she continues to take classes at Sacramento State online.
“She did everything right,” Scott said. “She never gave her home address or too much information. What woman is going to think that a year later, a man you’re having coffee with is actually working for your ex-boyfriend?”
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