San Diego Sports Anchor: I Was in Absolute Terror

KFMB Sports Anchor Kyle Kraska opened a manila envelope while on the witness stand Tuesday. Inside was a letter he’d written to the man now accused of trying to kill him.

“This letter was in my car the day Mr. Montana shot me,” the sportscaster said, pausing to compose himself. “And it’s got a lot of [blood] stains on it. It’s the first time I’ve seen it since that day.”

The LA Times writes that according to Kraska, he was heading to work the morning of Feb. 10, 2015, when Mike Montana boxed him into his driveway, pulled out a handgun and started firing. The house painter, who had been hired to do some work at Kraska’s home, is facing a charge of premeditated attempted murder and felony charges related to threats prosecutors say he made to other people.

Deputy Public Defender Richard Jayakumar, however, has said the evidence will show that Montana could not form the “actual, specific intent” to kill Kraska, because his mental state was probably affected by years of taking various prescription pain medications. Montana, the attorney said, believed he was owed $2,200 for work he had done and “decided to take that out of Kraska’s vehicle” by shooting at his car.

Kraska was hit once in the arm, once in his left leg near his femoral artery and twice in his chest. One of the bullets tore through his diaphragm, liver and one of his lungs.

The association between the two men began, Kraska testified, when he hired Montana after finding a business card on his door one day. They made arrangements for payment: $800 up front and $2,200 when the job was completed.

But Montana never finished the work, Kraska said. He testified that Montana often failed to show up and repeatedly asked for more money.

Eventually, Kraska said, Montana quit before the job was halfway completed, saying he needed to take other work. Kraska said there seemed to be little animosity between them.

When  the shooting happened, Kraska said. He described seeing Montana’s white van behind him as he backed his Mercedes out of the driveway. He said he saw the “stern” look on Montana’s face as he approached the driver’s side of the car and heard him say, “You should have paid me my $2,200.”

Kraska described hearing the first gunshot, then several more as Montana walked around the Mercedes. “He had boxed me in,” Kraska said. “I had nowhere to go.”

He testified that he bailed out of the car, then jumped back in. He saw blood pouring from his leg.

“It was just chaos,” he said. “I was in absolute terror.”