Judges deny appeal for Demeatrius Montgomery
Updated: Updated 05/15/2012 04:50 PM
By: Kate Gaier
Demeatrius Montgomery will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing two Charlotte-Mecklenburg police pfficers. The North Carolina Court of Appeals released its opinion Tuesday morning, denying Montgomery's appeal and saying his arguments had no merit.
Prosecutors are relieved but not surprised. Three appellate judges heard the case in February.
The defense argued three main reasons for the appeal -- they say Montgomery was not competent to stand trial; the widows' testimony influenced the jury; and statements made by prosecutors in opening statements and closing arguments were not supported by evidence.
"The bottom line is that the evidence in our case was strong," said prosecutor Glenn Cole. "What the evidence showed was a person who made a conscious choice to go out and do what he did. He got himself built up for it and he did it."
Montgomery was convicted in October 2010 for killing CMPD Officers Jeff Shelton and Sean Clark. He was sentenced to two consecutive life terms, but appealed immediately. Montgomery never spoke to his attorneys throughout his trial.
The ruling comes down on the same day the nation pays tribute to law enforcement officers.
The city of Locust held the fifth annual memorial service at the Officer Jeff Shelton Memorial Park. They honored three Stanly County officers who died in the line of duty, including one of Montgomery's victims.
"I wouldn't use the word closure,” said Officer Shelton's widow, Jennifer. “But I would say today is a very fitting day to find out that the court of appeals denied his request."
While happy with the ruling, Shelton says the news will not overshadow the reason behind the day's memorial.
"We remember. It's just nice to know the community still remembers and they want to pay tribute,” added Shelton.
Montgomery's original defense attorneys could not be reached for comment.
Prosecutors say Montgomery's appeal process could continue for years. He can now petition the North Carolina Supreme Court to hear his case.
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