Jury selection stalls in Montgomery trial; new information out

Jury selection stalls in Montgomery trial; new information out

Print
Email
|

by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on August 27, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 27 at 6:08 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Friday brought another twist in the trial of accused cop killer Demeatrius Montgomery.

Court was adjourned almost immediately after it began after attorneys for both sides agreed that further investigation was needed -- although no one indicated what exactly would be investigated.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys met with Judge Forrest Bridges in his chambers for about 30 minutes Friday morning before Bridges announced that additional time was needed to look into new information.

"This case is what, 3 yearsold? It's a bit unusual for there to be new information under those circumstances," says defense attorney James Exum

Prosecutors did not comment as they left the courthouse.

"The fact that the judge has now delayed the case, means that it's pretty significant -- something that all sides need to look at," said Exum.

The adjournment means jury selection will not continue Friday. As of Thursday, no jurors were seated. A total of 11 prospective jurors had been dismissed.

Montgomery is accused of killing Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers Jeff Shelton and Sean Clark in 2007.

The first week of trial has been tumultuous. A detective admitted he threw away notes in the investigation. The judge ruled out the death penalty as possible punishment because of the investigator's actions. Then, a second possible suspect emerged in the killings.

"The state always has the burden of proof in a criminal case, proof beyond a reasonable doubt," says Exum. "When you're having delays, when you're hearing new evidence that might create doubt, we'll just have to see what it is."

For four days Montgomery has remained silent and uncooperative with his attorneys and the judge. On Thursday, Montgomery arrived in court wearing his orange jail jumpsuit -- violating the judge's dress code policy, which required Montgomery to wear dress pants and a tie.

On Monday, Montgomery refused to show up for his trial. He arrived after being coaxed by family members. Then, he refused to answer any of the judge's questions.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Monday.

Print
Email
|