CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — After months of protests, including some from the victim’s father, inmate Edward Montour pleaded guilty to the murder of prison guard Eric Autobee in exchange for prosecutors dropping the pursuit of the death penalty in his case.
He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole late Thursday.
Montour’s case has gotten a slew of attention recently — first when Autobee’s father said he wanted the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office to drop their pursuit of the death penalty against Montour and then when doubts about the conviction that sent Montour to the Limon Correctional Facility in the first place began to surface.
@kdvr Sentencing for Montour complete. Judge accepts Murder1 guilty plea, life without parole.
— Angel Andres (@AngelAndresFox) March 7, 2014
Now 34, Montour was sentenced to life in prison when he was 17 after being convicted of killing his 11-week-old daughter, Taylor Montour. But last week, the El Paso County coroner’s office changed the infant’s manner of death from homicide to undetermined.
The Douglas County DA had previously been steadfast in its pursuit of the death penalty against Montour after he plead guilty to first-degree murder in the killing of Autobee in 2002. But cracks in the death penalty sentence started to develop in 2007, when the Colorado Supreme Court threw out the sentence because it had not been handed down by a jury.
The Douglas County District Attorney’s Office apparently gave up that death penalty pursuit after more than a decade, as Lane confirmed the DA offered Montour the deal to pull the possible sentence in exchange for his guilty plea — a deal Montour prompty accepted.