Chastain Montgomery could face death penalty if convicted - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Former prison guard deemed mentally capable to face death penalty

Posted: Updated:
A judge ruled that Montgomery is mentally capable of standing trial in the case of a fatal shooting of two Mid-South post office workers. A judge ruled that Montgomery is mentally capable of standing trial in the case of a fatal shooting of two Mid-South post office workers.
His trial starts in April, but attorneys meet in court February 7. His trial starts in April, but attorneys meet in court February 7.

(WMC-TV) - Chastain Montgomery's mother said that when her son was a child he did not grasp basic tasks—getting dressed, grooming, cleaning the house—like his siblings did.

Despite other similar details of possible disability revealed in court documents Tuesday, a judge ruled that Montgomery, 49, is mentally capable of standing trial in the case of a fatal shooting of two Mid-South post office workers.

Investigators say Montgomery, with the help of his son, shot and killed Judy Spray and Paula Robinson during a Henning, Tenn. post office robbery in October 2010. Chastain Montgomery Jr., 18, was killed in a shootout with police a few months later. After a police chase, authorities jailed his father on charges related to the shootout.

Montgomery's defense attorneys argued he is not smart enough to be executed if convicted of the murders. Michael Scholl says his client took multiple IQ tests and on each one he scored below 70.

"What we're saying is that he is a mentally disabled person and should not be executed," said Scholl after the government announced they would pursue the death penalty.

According to the judge's order , the evidence in this case establishes that the former prison guard does not suffer limitations as described in Atkins vs. Virgina, which is a case where the Supreme Court of the U.S. ruled executing those with mental illness as cruel.

His trial starts in April, but attorneys meet in court February 7. Montgomery's defense will work to throw out his confession to the crime.

"He has difficulty, obviously, because of his mental health situation, understanding what's going on," said Scholl.

Picking a jury could prove difficult if potential members have not followed updates on this case.

Get the latest from Action News 5 anytime: iPhone | iPad | Android | SMS Alerts | Email Alerts | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Copyright 2014 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Teen killed in crash after prom

    Teen killed in crash after prom

    Friday, April 18 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-04-19 02:46:47 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - A young man's life was taken too soon. It was supposed to be a high school memory of a lifetime for Andrew Archer, but prom night turned into a tragic night for his family and friends. His promMore >>
    It was supposed to be a high school memory of a lifetime for Andrew Archer, but prom night turned into a tragic night for his family and friends.More >>
  • Woman featured on News Channel 11's Most Wanted list captured

    Woman featured on News Channel 11's Most Wanted list captured

    Tuesday, March 4 2014 12:51 PM EST2014-03-04 17:51:53 GMT
    Rebecca SpearsRebecca Spears
    A woman wanted for a failure to appear in court charge, was captured Monday.Rebecca Spears was listed as wanted by authorities for failing to appear in court on charges of driving on a suspended license and not having insurance.More >>
    A woman wanted for a failure to appear in court charge, was captured Monday.Rebecca Spears was listed as wanted by authorities for failing to appear in court on charges of driving on a suspended license and not having insurance.More >>
  • 7-year-old girl writes book after mother's death

    7-year-old girl writes book after mother's death

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:31:56 GMT
    (WMC-TV) - Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books. Shiloh Sanders talked about the inspiration behind herMore >>
    Most 7-year-old girls are playing dress up and reading books, but one Mid-South girl is the exception—not just reading but writing books.More >>
Powered by WorldNow