Capital Murder Guilty Plea - Week of May 2nd, 2016
On Thursday, May 4th, Mark Montgomery entered a guilty plea to capital murder for killing Clo Stoner and JoAnna Strickland Butler in March 2014. He will be sentenced to Life Without Parole by Judge Mike Jones at a formal sentencing hearing on June 30th. His plea comes on the eve of what was to be a lengthy capital murder jury trial, which was set to begin on Monday, May 16th. His attorneys approached our office on Monday, May 2nd and made the offer for him to plead as charged to capital murder and avoid the death penalty.
We consulted with members of the both victims' families, and I then made the decision to accept the offer. The plea required him to state, under oath, truthful facts regarding the murders. He did this in court when he pled guilty as members of the victims families watched and listened. The plea also required the sole witness to the murder, his sister, Sarah Montgomery, to provide a statement under oath and be subject to cross examination. This was accomplished on Monday, May 9th.