Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Montgomery Case On The Ropes?

A criminal trial is much like a boxing match. A number of rounds, starting with jury selection and ending with a impassioned summation and in the end someone is the victor and the other the vanquished.

Along the way the referee calls fair and foul and keeps things orderly but when your fighter is up against the ropes it's never a good sign, even less so if your fighter (the ADA) is tangled up in the ropes before she even enters the ring.

What should have been a one hit and down he goes death penalty case suddenly has all the markings of an acquittal.

How did this happen? Who is at fault? Are the misdeeds of Officer Fant a pattern of mismanagement at CMPD?

Jeff Taylor takes a look at who is a fault over at The Meck Deck where he asks "Do We Owe Peter Gilchrist an Apology?" his post is here.

Is there any doubt that Demetrius Montgomery killed CMPD officers Shelton and Clark? No!

But I'm not on the jury where the answer could be maybe not. So if the other shoe drops it would be wise to plead this case before it becomes Charlotte's version of the OJ Simpson trial.

The question up now is will Judge Bridges allow the introduction of the another possible killer?

Montgomery's attorneys say a Mecklenburg jail inmate told police that a man named Octavious Elmore confessed to the murder of CMPD officers Clark and Shelton. The inmate also claimed he saw Elmore near the crime scene that night, the attorneys said.

Montgomery and Elmore

The person who apparently interviewed Elmore? Officer Fant.

Cedar Posts Bonus:

When Montgomery was arrested there was considerable debate as to his guilt 300 plus comments some predictable others over the top, but there is also a shocking number who say CMPD has the wrong man. Read the comments for yourself here.

The Counter Point offered back in 2007 by Rusty's Conservative Soap Box is here and the extreme New Nation here.


Anonymous said...

No matter what happens there is no excuse for the mishandling of the most important case to cross the desks of CMPD homicide detectives since the murders of John and Andy 17 years ago. There has been ample time for preparation (3 years 5 months) and something as glaring as the omission of a detective's statement is complete horseshit. The detective is primarily at fault for his lack of professionalism and dereliction of duty, but there are many others who should have noticed this gaff and corrected it before this point. It is embarassing, ill timed, and will haunt the department for many years to come.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 10:42 it sickens me to know that this POS will not die for what he has done to Jeff and Sean, what message does this send out to others? There are alot of issues at CMPD lack of training - newbys getting positions that they havent earned and are not prepared for. People in positions that should NOT be there. I have heard conflicting stories on Fant some saying he's a good guy others are questioning him.I want to know why it wasnt til July that these notes were never retrieved by the DA's office. What Detective looses his notes especially in regards to the slaying of fellow officers...

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you guys understand, but under the new NC Racial Justice Act, it's impossible for a black person to get the death penalty, regardless if he kills on camera in front of 1000 people.
Death is no longer an option.
It's sad but true, so live with the consequences of our justice system being hijacked by the lawyers and libs.
Open season on white folks, and nothing you can do to stop it.
Welcome to the US in 2010, ghetto style.

Anonymous said...

an an attorney in the Meck criminal justice system, I can assure you that this is what CMPD does day in and day out on their cases. nobody ever blames them though for any of the problems that exist in the system -- they are always the good ones merely b/c they put cuffs on someone and put them in jail -- an officer's duty doesn't stop at such a simple act. quality of investigation. compliance with discovery laws. compliance with the US and NC constitutions -- all shape a case's fate. apparently it takes something like this for everyone to see realize it.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH anon 9:15,

I have been wondering if anyone was ever going to say that out loud.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:15 you are a criminal trial attorney? Your paragraph is written like a teenage illiterate...I hope you are working in our court system!

The problems with the system is morons like you who clog it with inane requests and accusations to merely blur the mind of the juror becasue you have no evidence to prove the innocence of your clients.

Anonymous said...

Trust me, Anon 9:15 is correct, and I am on the other side of the fence. Officers and many detectives do not routinely got to trial, let alone a homicide trial. So evidence lapses do not come to light. 90% of the PD operates under the thinking that once an arrest is made, their involvemant with the case is over. Many times that is far from the truth. CMPD now operates under the philosophy that once an arrest is made, you move on to the next. Supervisors and commanders don't give a damn about complete investigations, probable cause is enough. Make the arrest and move on. Why isn't so and so in custody? Compstat is coming up, we need to move on this, and on and on. The leadership vacuum at CMPD is tremendous. My gut tells me that Montgomery will walk, and I am sick to my stomach about it.

Anonymous said...

All you have to do is sit in a courtroom with an open mind and you will see it: what previous posters have said is all too true- on the whole CMPD produces mediocre investigations. Many are well done but far too often notes are lost, statements leave out important details, evidence is destroyed. On multiple occasions I have seen statements that were put together with the "Fant" cut and past method. Cases are lost every single week because of flat out incompetence on the part of CMPD. Yet nothing changes. Hell, Fant did it five years ago and what was his punishment? Promotion to Homicide. What does that tell you about the institution that is CMPD?
Despite all of this I don't see DM walking free. At the very least that scum will spend the rest of his miserable life in prison.

JAT said...

To the Anons in the the system --

Please come forward, on the record. I cannot tell you how many times in the past 2-3yrs folks have stopped short of that with me -- and other reporters in town.

The most troubling thing is the local legal community cabal has ACTIVELY told their clients on the civil side not to complain about our functionally illiterate district court or they'll drop representation.

Folks, I am reasonably certain that is a violation of their contracts with their clients, but it IS happening every day in CLT.

The system is broken. You know that, I know that. But until it is documented -- nothing can change.


To all those who feel CMPD isn't doing their job- try this one on for size ..being over worked and under trained..there are several positions out there that is viable to get OJT however being a Cop and then a Detective- by the way you now need no special qualifications other than being a minority to be a Detective...if you have the training you have recieved it on your own and or from another agency- Take a lok at the Commander in Chief...He does not believe in education at any expense...and that trickles down to his ass kissing croonies whom we won't mention but are the ones in charge and assist in making those promotional suggestions...So you want to know why so many cases are screwed up well there you go..lack of training, supervison , and common sense...YOU CAN'T TEACH STUPID...HMMMMM

Anonymous said...

The real problem lies within those who make and shape the laws of our states and the nation. We have become a society of spineless hipocrites and have forgotten how those who came before us forged this nation and made it great. We are all guilty of being soft on those who do wrong and we no longer hold those who do wrong accountable and responsible. Many chose to spin the Constitution into a carte blanche excuse for criminal behavior and try to pin the blame on those who seek to destroy evildoers. Police are completely hamstrung by an overly complex legal system that almost always seems to favor the bad guys. It is frustrating both for the police and prosecutors because of the myriad of hoops that have to be navigated for even the most mundane of cases (DWI for example.)Hopefully this massive error on the part of the detective will be cause for change, but I am sure that after a short time things will simply be forgotten and swept away like so many crumbs.

Anonymous said...

....and anon 9:15, wtf would you know about an officer's duties? Yer just another schmuck DA waiting to join the darkside for a fat paycheck. Go put cuffs on someone and tell me it's a simple act. You'd shit yer khakis then speed dial your shirnk to get you through the rest of the day. You have no idea what street cops do day in and day out. Your only expectation of us is that we show up in court when you demand our presence for bullshit that you don't even need us for. And as for the Mecklenburg County Criminal Justice System, well you can remove Justice from that and let anarchy reign, because there isn't much Justice that I have seen.

Anonymous said...

The honest truth about this situation is no one will win! If the person standing trial is innocent his name has been slandered. The cop that made the decision to destroy evidence has to live with this costly mistake. The officers that lost their lives will never get to see their families again. There is no winner in cases like this. The two men accused look so much a like its insane Mr. Montogmery maybe innocent who are we to judge him? Its sad because when this is all said and done the onlookers will be able to move on with their lives and forget about this case...I just ask that we all remember these are people and be considerate of how much this case impacts families all across the word. I will continue to pray for these families.

Anonymous said...

Cedar its seems the other shoe has indeed slipped of the ADA's foot. There is reported there is an issue with the DNA and the reports something about quality and suporting evidence. I hater to say it but if this rumor is true its all over.