FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (TCD) — A jury found a man guilty last week of fatally stabbing and lighting a woman on fire because he mistook her for his ex-girlfriend.
On Oct. 5, Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney Steve Descano announced Richard Montano was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Silvia “Kelly” Vaca Abacay last year.
According to the statement, Abacay had been staying with Montano’s ex-girlfriend, who was a close friend of hers. On Aug. 10, 2022, 48-year-old Montano went into the apartment “likely intending to kill” his ex because she had broken up with him a few weeks prior. The woman and Montano had been together for eight years.
A neighbor’s Ring camera reportedly showed Montano previously made his way into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment several times “without her knowledge,” including 10 days before the killing.
On the day of the attack, a neighbor called Fairfax County Police four times after they heard “screaming and banging” coming from the apartment across the hall. Montano stabbed Abacay, 40, then set her body on fire. The medical examiner concluded Abacay suffered from blunt- and sharp-force injuries.
The statement said prosecutors “believed that she was likely mistaken” for Montano’s ex when he killed her.
Descano said, “As Commonwealth’s Attorney, I’ve seen considerable crime scenes and photos, but the photos from the case stood out in terms of the severity of the victim’s injuries.”
Montano will be sentenced in January and faces up to life in prison.