It’s a long shot, but it could happen if the wrong judge gets a hold of this case.
At a minimum, some sort of action resulting in a new trial for convicted cop killer Demetrius Montgomery wouldn’t be the least bit surprising.
The handling of District Attorney Peter Gilchrist’s office’s last big case will now be tested in Montgomery’s appeal of his life sentence for killing two cops. So will the competency of our local court system.
Judge Forrest Bridges did a masterful job trying to appeal-proof the problems with the case the best he could, but several things could cause real problems down the line:
Attorney Andrew Desimone, who is working Montgomery’s appeal, points to 16 proposed issues. Several of the issues surround Montgomery’s mental status – the defense tried on several occasions to declare him incompetent to stand trial but the judge denied that motion – and other issues surround the difficulty of defending a suspect who won’t speak to his attorneys.
Montgomery is also appealing his conviction based on certain testimony during the trial. The record lists several witnesses, including the officers’ widows, Jennifer Shelton and Sherry Clark.
Montgomery also tried to fire his attorneys on several occasions, but wasn’t allowed to, another complicating factor ripe for appeal. Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see if the way the trial was handled holds up under scrutiny — and not very surprising if it doesn’t.