For 4 years, Joshua Dakota and his household have awaited the trial for the person accused of murdering his sister, Jennifer Montgomery, 27.
On Monday, the homicide trial started for Montgomery’s husband, Colin Montgomery, a 33-year-old resident of Danville. He shot and killed his spouse in March 2018. On Wednesday, a Boyle County jury discovered him responsible of homicide.
Montgomery was sentenced to 35 years in jail on Thursday. He may’ve confronted a life sentence.
Colin Montgomery’s protection group requested the jury to seek out him responsible of manslaughter. That might’ve led to a sentence of 17 years. They argued their consumer was underneath excessive emotional misery on the time of the capturing.
Dakota advised the Herald-Chief this was the justice his household had sought. He stated he felt very grateful and relieved after the decision was learn.
“We went by means of the horrible means of a trial as a result of we believed he dedicated homicide in opposition to my sister,” Dakota stated. “His protection got here to us a number of occasions with manslaughter and 17 years, however we by no means backed down.”
Wednesday, Colin Montgomery’s protection group argued he was underneath excessive emotional disturbance when he shot and killed his spouse with their two younger kids within the dwelling, ages 7 and 1 on the time.
The protection, led by Andrew Lengthy and Nathan Shirley, stated the defendant misplaced all management when he discovered his spouse was collaborating in an alleged extra-marital affair.
However the prosecutors stated the argument did not show emotional disturbance. One prosecutor stated in court docket that Colin Montgomery referred to as his mother and spoke it for a number of minutes between the time he discovered in regards to the affair and the time he shot and killed his spouse. The couple additionally efficiently filed for divorce earlier than the capturing.
“This isn’t a scenario the place he caught her in mattress, … that’s not what occurred,” stated Assistant Commonwealth’s Legal professional Richard Bottoms. “She made a easy assertion when she stored asking her if she was seeing somebody and based mostly on that, (the protection) desires you to assume it was cheap for Colin to shoot his spouse with three buckshot shells from a shotgun.”
To show excessive emotional disturbance, the defendant will need to have suffered a profound lack of self-control. Regardless of the emotion, whether or not it is disappointment, anger, concern, or some other, it have to be very intense. There additionally have to be an affordable clarification for struggling this excessive emotion.
The only real proof offered to the jury by protection attorneys was an interview between the couple’s son and a toddler advocate.
Within the video interview, the son tells the advocate he heard his mother saying she was in love with one other man, and remembers his dad, Colin Montgomery, questioning “Who?”
“Mommy stated‘ I’m in love with one other man, ’and daddy was shouting,‘ Who? Who? ‘ … He stated he was going to kill her, and he acquired the gun, went exterior and stated, ‘Get out of my home,’ and shot her, ”the son stated within the video.
Following the son’s video interview, protection attorneys referred to as their solely witness, Michael Dukes, who admitted to the court docket that they had a secret affair with Jennifer Montgomery for about two weeks main as much as her loss of life.
Dukes stated he and Jennifer labored collectively, however he was an acquaintance of Colin, whom he went to center faculty with.
On March 5, Jennifer had filed for divorce from her husband, in accordance with court docket testimony. This was her second try and file for divorce. The primary try occurred a yr prior however it resulted in reconciliation.
Shirley stated Colin and Jennifer Montgomery had been married for 9 years, lately purchased a brand new dwelling, and have been elevating two kids. He stated the couple was “constructing the American Dream.”
“So for Colin to seek out out that his spouse was having a secret affair with him for weeks with a former schoolmate that was completely past devastating,” Shirley stated. “It was so sudden that Colin went right into a state of hysteria and excessive emotional disturbance and killing Jen was a spontaneous act attributable to a short lived match of utmost emotion that was so highly effective, it overcame his judgment on the time of the occasion.”
Bottoms stated the Montgomerys’ marriage was “something however the American Dream.”
Bottoms referred again to proof that Jennifer and Colin Montgomery had efficiently filed for divorce the day earlier than her loss of life, with little one assist, the division of actual and tangible property and custody preparations having been decided.
“The photographs will not be fired till after that he asks if she is seeing somebody and he or she says she was seeing another person,” Bottoms stated. “Then somebody will get shot. That isn’t cheap after you’ve all that historical past of the wedding being over. The wedding was over. It was not the American Dream. They’d signed the divorce papers. ”
Bottoms argued in his closing statements that to seek out Colin Montgomery’s responsible of manslaughter could be to “let him get away with the homicide.”
He referred to different proof that Colin Montgomery referred to as his mom earlier than capturing his spouse, stating he was going to kill Jennifer Montgomery, and spoke to her for over three minutes earlier than the deadly photographs.
“He talked for 3 minutes and 35 seconds. He did not simply seize the shotgun and shoot her. He talked to (his mom) for 3 minutes and 35 seconds. That’s fairly a very long time. … When he made the assertion he was going to kill her, (his mother) did not care sufficient at that time to name for assist as a result of it was not an excessive emotional disturbance.
“Divorce shouldn’t equate to the choice to shoot somebody. It was not speedy, there was a delay, he talked to his mother. He knew in regards to the divorce and he was offended and damage. However that’s not an affordable clarification or excuse for excessive emotional disturbance. It takes extra. ”
Dakota added within the first two days of the trial that the jury heard from about 12 witnesses introduced forth by prosecutors to debate the investigation. A majority of those witnesses, Dakota stated, have been law enforcement officials who responded to the scene and have been concerned within the investigation. He stated they confirmed bodycam footage, photos of Jennifer’s physique, and harm to the home.
“It was setting the scene for the jury to simply laying out the information they usually have been laid on the market in black and white and there wasn’t a lot else by way of constructing the case,” Dakota stated. “I feel that anyone with a conscience may say, I do not care if an individual was sleeping with 1,000,000 folks, that does not give a justification of killing in chilly blood with three level clean photographs with a shotgun.”
He argued his sister’s story was only one instance of the horrors of home violence.
“It’s not simply studying a couple of homicide within the paper, it’s greater than that,” Dakota stated. “My sister had a proper to happiness, a proper to stay along with her children and a proper to lift her children. It’s a horrific actuality when somebody makes the choice to finish somebody’s life like (Colin Montgomery) did.
“We knew the dangers of the protection of the intense emotional disturbance and that they might middle their protection round an affair. I am glad this set a precedent for all ladies making an attempt to get out of a relationship that you simply simply cannot get away with homicide. ”
Concurrently to the legal court docket battle, Dakota stated he and his household confronted a custody battle with the Colin Montgomery’s household over who would have a custody of their two kids.
All through the legal trial, the household matter was resolved in March 2022 when the household was awarded cut up custody.