Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Donald Montanez and the Death of Glen Rich

A Sad Reunion & a Deadly Showdown

A Chrysler Sebring similar to Rich's.
A Chrysler Sebring similar to Rich's.
Among the cars, PPCI towed that night was a 2005 Chrysler Sebring belonging to Adama Rich. It had been driven to the Sugar Shack by Glen "Chuck" Rich (Adama's husband), his two brothers Ernest and Celester Rich, and Glen's best friend James Murray. The Rich brothers were reuniting for the first time in years for the funeral of their older brother Bennie Jr., who had died in a traffic accident the previous week. The Rich party met up around midnight before hitting a strip club, then heading to Glen Rich's apartment to see his two young children for a while before heading to the Sugar Shack for a late-night drink.

When the Rich party emerged into the cold night from the Sugar Shack around 5 am, they were surprised to find their car missing. They saw Donald Montanez cruising on Bonacker Drive in a tow truck and walked over to ask him if he had taken their car. Montanez told them his company had taken the car which was in impound, gave them a business card, and told them to come by the next day to retrieve it. Montanez neglected to tell them the car was actually just a few blocks away at the drop site, awaiting transport to the PPCI lot.

The Rich party, stranded and cold, stood around not knowing what to do until a man named Kale Gainous drove up in his Chrysler 300. Gainous had seen where the tow trucks had taken the cars and ended up driving Glen and Celester Rich to the drop site before heading off to bring more people to PPCI's secret staging area. The other two members of the Rich party followed on foot, and when Gainous returned to the drop site, he recalled a member of the Rich party walked by on foot and exclaimed "It's about to get poppin'!"

When the Richs arrived at the property at 6010 Bonacker, they saw the Chrysler Sebring parked in front of a flatbed truck. PPCI administrator Lorraine Marie Whitehead was on hand to note license plate and VIN numbers, and PPCI flatbed operator Cory Crites was standing nearby.

Donald Montanez mugshot.
Donald Montanez mugshot.
Crites made first contact with Glen and Celester Rich, telling them that they could not come over to take their car back. The conversation was heated, with vehement gesturing and curses flying -- but no real physical contact. Crites repeatedly tried to block the Richs from getting to their car. Another PPCI employee called Montanez for back-up.

When Montanez arrived at the tense scene with more and more angry towees arriving, he decided to unholster his gun to help Crites keep the crowd at bay. At 5:43 a.m., Glen Rich made a cell phone call to 911 -- the call would last over seven minutes and would capture some of the harsh words and chaotic sounds that preceded his death.

"They pulled a gun on me," Rich told the 911 operator, "I want my car... Can you please send the police around here?" The voice of Montanez is audible at one point: "I'm not playing fucking games. Don't come back over here." Rich didn't listen.

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